James 5:9-12 Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12;Mark 10:1-12
7th Week in Ordinary Time
What God has joined together, no human being must separate. (Mark 10:9)
If we’ve been through a divorce or know someone who has, we might have a hard time accepting these words. We might find ourselves thinking, “Doesn’t Jesus understand why marriages break down? Why can’t he show a little more compassion?” If we know anything of the guilt, anger, and sadness that come with divorce, it might seem as if Jesus is being a legalist here or that he enjoys “arresting” us on the charge of a broken marriage.
But remember who Jesus was talking to: legalistic Pharisees. They were looking for loopholes, trying to trap him by getting him to spell out when it was acceptable to leave one’s spouse. In response, Jesus told the truth, as he always did. Yes, marriage is sacred to God, and it is a blessing for us. It’s a union between two people that is sealed by the Holy Spirit, and the last thing he wants is for us to go through the agony of having that union torn apart.
Notice, however, that while Jesus said that divorce should not happen, he never said a condemning word about people whose marriages end up failing. He knows that we are human beings who make mistakes; that’s why he came to earth! Look, for instance, at how he treated someone who was caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). The legalists were there, quoting the Law that says that the woman should be stoned. But when Jesus confronted them with their own sinfulness, they walked away. Then, he tells the woman, “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11).
If you are going through the pain of divorce, Jesus has the same words for you. He’s not asking whose fault it was, and he isn’t holding your sin—or someone else’s—in front of you. That’s what Satan does, and we should never listen to his voice! No, Jesus wants to heal you and set you free. He wants to take whatever is wounded or broken in your life and make it new. So let this be the day that you accept his mercy and healing.
“Jesus, send your Spirit on all those families wounded by divorce. Let them know that your grace can break the chains of hatred, mistrust, and unforgiveness. Shine your light and heal their pain!”~WAU