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

7th Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mk 10:1-1

Commentary

The Pharisees, plotting to kill Jesus, seek to discredit Him on the topic of divorce; Jesus’ teaching that divorce is forbidden contradicted Moses’ long-established allowance of divorce. The Pharisees realize that Jesus’ position on divorce was the same as John the Baptist’s and, by publicizing Jesus’ forbidding of divorce, the Pharisees perhaps scheme to get King Herod to kill Jesus as he killed John the Baptist. John had condemned Herod’s “marriage” to Herodias, who had divorced Herod’s brother and so the marriage was adulterous, but the marriage was also incestuous because Herodias was Herod’s sister-in-law and also his niece.

Instead of responding to the Pharisees’ question about divorce, Jesus, knowing of their devious hearts, asks them, “What did Moses command you?” When the Pharisees confirm Moses’ allowance of divorce, Jesus first harshly insults them, by revealing that Moses allowed divorce because of “your hardness of heart.” He further humiliates the learned Pharisees by exposing their lack of understanding of Scripture by referring to Moses’ own words inspired by God in Genesis, that describes man, woman, and marriage, and forbids divorce (Gen 2:24). Jesus makes it absolutely clear, 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 that, not only is divorce forbidden, but that men and women who divorce and remarry commit adultery, a mortal sin described in The 6th Commandment of The 10 Commandments

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.