Posted August 15, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in

Man must not separate

瑪竇福音 19:3-12








Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
Matthew 19:3-12

In today’s Gospel, some Pharisees tested Jesus by asking Him: Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife? Among the Jews there were two schools of thought on divorce. One school would only allow marital unfaithfulness as a justification for divorce. The other school, however, would allow a man to divorce his wife if she did anything he did not like.

Jesus leveraged this opportunity to explain the true meaning of marriage: “what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

In the past few decades, we see divorce rates rise in many developed countries. It seems almost impossible to be true to one’s spouse in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. When the disciples heard Jesus’ words, they said: “it is better not to marry”.

As Catholics, we know that with our human limits, to sustain a marriage is beyond our own power. We might also be influenced by the societal trends and be tempted to give up. If we believe that Christian marriage is a sacrament, then we should trust that God would keep granting us grace to sustain our marriages.

FLL Editorial Team