Jesus forbids divorce and confirms those who remarry after divorce commit adultery. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Religion so he can honor and defend the Sacrament of Matrimony and by pursuing the Virtue of Chastity so he can reject adultery and grow in sexual purity. 

Liturgy

27th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 10:2-16

Commentary

After the Pharisees challenge His condemnation of divorce, Jesus humiliates the supposedly learned Pharisees by referring to Moses’ words inspired by God in Genesis (Gen 2:24) to confirm that divorce is forbidden: God made two sexes, male and female, and supernaturally binds man and woman together in an unbreakable bond of marriage. Jesus reveals Moses allowed divorce because of the “hardness” of hearts and God absolutely forbids divorce, saying “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” 

Later, in private, the disciples approach Jesus because they are troubled that Jesus strictly forbids divorce with no exceptions. Jesus does not equivocate, making it clear, not only is divorce forbidden, but men and women who divorce and remarry commit adultery, a mortal sin described in The 6th Commandment

Having confirmed God’s plan for marriage and condemned divorce, Jesus blesses the fruit of marriage (children), confirming the importance of spiritual fatherhood. Following a Jewish practice for children to be blessed by a rabbi and by fathers (Gen 27:30; 48:14-16), many brought children to Jesus for a blessing. Driven by good intentions (the master is tired, the crowds are too large, sick people need help) or bad intentions (children are below the Master), the disciples try to stop parents from bringing the children to Jesus. Angered, Jesus rebukes the disciples, revealing that He sees in children the spiritual qualities of those in Heaven (joy, poverty, simplicity, humility, obedience, dependency, vulnerability). Jesus tenderly takes the children in His arms and blesses them.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Contrary to the modern support of divorce and the desperate attempts to “redefine” marriage, be assured by Jesus, Divine Priest, as He defends the Sacrament of Matrimony and Chastity: being challenged by the perverse Pharisees who supported divorce, Jesus first rebukes them Harshly (hardness of heart, a term which denotes rebellious and serious sin) confirming His unequivocal condemnation of divorce; Jesus explicitly confirms that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman; Jesus confirms that those who divorce and “remarry” are guilty of the mortal sin of adultery.

Honor and defend the Sacrament of Matrimony

Realize: Today, there is broad rebellion against God’s unchanging truth that marriage is the permanent, exclusive union of a man and a woman; there are many mortally sinful mutations of marriage, including “unions” which reject marriage, “open” marriage, same-sex “marriage”, polygamous “marriage”, etc.; every Catholic man must accept, honor, and defend Jesus’ unchangeable truth about marriage as preserved in His Holy Catholic Church.

Believe: Reflect upon the Sacrament of Matrimony (CCC 1601-1666).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Bridegroom, help me build the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) so I completely accept Your Church’s teaching about marriage, and I honor and defend the truth and beautiful dignity of marriage as preserved in Your gift of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Reject adultery and grow in Chastity

Realize: The disciples were stunned when Jesus confirms that those who divorce and remarry commit adultery. Today, the mortal sin of adultery is widespread: significant numbers of Catholics divorce and remarry without annulment and adultery is a frequent cause of divorce. 

Believe: Review the Catechism’s teaching on Divorce and Adultery (CCC 1643-1651, 2382-2386), The 6th Commandment (CCC 2331-2359) and The 9th Commandment (CCC 2514-2533).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Chastity, help me grow in the Virtue of Chastity (a part of Temperance) so I reject all sexual sin including adultery, both in mind and body, I immediately repent if I fail and receive Christ’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance, and I seek the help of the Spirit to remain chaste.