May 23, 2008
Friday of the seventh week in ordinary tTime
Mark 10: 1-12
Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom, he again taught them. The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him. He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?" They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her." But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. 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, no human being must separate." In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, through the sacrament of marriage we see your love for us. My Lord, many times I have been unfaithful to your love, yet you have remained faithful. I beg for your mercy and for the grace to love you as I ought.
Petition: Jesus, help me to serve you with undivided love.
1. Made for Union with God Through Love When we love God, there are no limits to what we will do for him. We believe that everything works for our good and that he will never let us go. This love does not consist of good feelings, flowers and chocolates. In fact, at times this love may hurt. However, there is one consolation that makes any pain bearable: knowing that we are doing everything through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ until we can finally say with St. Paul, “Christ is my life.”
2. Marriage, Reflection of God’s Love Jesus shows us how he loves his Church by describing himself as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride. This is a very deep, very committed type of love – one of self-emptying so that the other may live. This love between a husband and wife is much more exclusive than the love between friends. We can and should have many friends, but the love of husband and wife is shared by only two people. If only we would reflect more often on the love our Lord has for us! How could we be afraid of a God who loves us with pure self-giving?
3. Adultery, Infidelity to God’s Love Throughout the Bible, God describes the breach of the Covenant by Israel as adulterous. No other infidelity describes better the pain God feels when we sin. All of us can understand the pain that a husband or wife suffers when a spouse is unfaithful; so, too, should we contemplate the pain God feels when we offend him. He has been so good and ever-faithful to us, and so many times we have turned our backs on him. How do I see sin? Does it make me shudder as does the thought of an unfaithful spouse? This is how God sees sin. Let us despise sin not because we fear God, but because we love him and desire never to offend him.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, from all eternity you have called me to love you. Grant that I be faithful to you by guarding my heart against anything that might take me from your loving arms. Help me to share with my brothers and sisters the love that you have bestowed upon me. Help me to help them come closer to you.
Resolution: Today I will pray for the fidelity of all who are married.
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