If you truly love someone, you want what is best for them – What is best for them is heaven!
Gospel text (Mk 10:1-12): Jesus went to the province of Judea , beyond the Jordan River . Once more crowds gathered around him and once more He taught them, as He always did. Some (Pharisees came and) put him to the test with this question, «Is it right for a husband to divorce his wife?». He replied, «What law did Moses give you?». They answered, «Moses allowed us to write a certificate of dismissal in order to divorce». Then Jesus said to them, «Moses wrote this law for you, because you are stubborn. But in the beginning of creation God made them male and female, and because of this, man has to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one body. So they are no longer two but one body. Therefore let no one separate what God has joined».
When they were indoors at home, the disciples again asked him about this and He told them, «Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against his wife, and the woman who divorces her husband and marries another also commits adultery».
The Sacrament of Marriage represents a lifelong commitment on the part of the spouses. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part; marriage is forever.
Increasingly the dominant American culture has intensified the barrage against marriage. Every day millions of living rooms are inundated with the lustful images depicted in soap operas, situation comedies, movies, talk shows and music videos. Magazines extol immoral lifestyles. Weekly tabloids play up the scandalous sexual proclivities of film, sports and television celebrities.
This onslaught against marriage has been relentless, seemingly working toward discrediting the notion of Christian marriage as an institution and cornerstone of society.
It is very easy for married couples to become discouraged and overwhelmed.
Many Catholic priests agree, that in the majority of cases, the large number of failed marriages has resulted from the couples having been insufficiently prepared for the Sacrament of Marriage in the first place. True, many couples do marry for the wrong reasons; however, parishes in many parts of the country have been negligent in providing thorough and caring marriage preparation for engaged couples.
Still, the best preparation for marriage is Christian chastity. It is this virtue of chastity that helps a married couple to remain faithful to one another. But, if young people are not being sufficiently challenged to cultivate this virtue, the Church may be marrying many who have developed profound sexual addictions through a promiscuous life style; and these addictions in and of themselves may not allow for the necessary full and free consent to take place.
Whether clergy or concerned lay people, we need to take the time to help young people live chastely in a very difficult world. Encouraging them to develop a rich Eucharistic life, to use the Sacrament of Confession frequently, to practice devotion to Mary and to avail themselves of on-going spiritual direction, all these are the proven ways by which we can help strengthen young people to live out their relationship with Jesus and each other.
The Church must not capitulate to the clamors of the secular world. By the holiness of their lives, both the clergy and married couples can be a wonderful help to those who are called to the Sacrament of Marriage.
For those who are already married, mutual fidelity is the path that provides personal joy and peace. However, subject as we are to the effects of Original Sin, we are all fallen creatures of flesh and blood, and it is normal that fidelity can prove a struggle. For married couples a daily renewal of their personal commitment to their spouses, a well disciplined spiritual life and a realistic acceptance of their own personal limitations will provide the lasting strength to remain faithful until death.
Finally, although the Catholic Church upholds the indissolubility of marriage, the Church always welcomes her children who are divorced and separated. Those who suffer from difficult marital situations are always welcomed as living members of Christ’s Church. Even in those situations where individuals may not be able to participate fully in the Eucharist, the doors of the Catholic Church remain open to all, welcoming all to be living members of the family of God.
No matter how difficult a personal history or situation may be, there is always a solution for those who are open to doing God’s will. And all those who are entrusted with the pastoral care of souls must be kind, patient, compassionate, understanding and willing to spend a lot of time ministering to all those who seek their loving care.