27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 3/10/2021 - Gospel: Mk 10, 2-12
The Unbreakable Bond
The union between a man and a woman is known as marriage. This original holy unbreakable bond of marriage, God meant to have universal implication. Men took for granted this holy gift for self- satisfaction. Before any act of divorce has taken place, that person has already divorced in his/her heart. God unites in marriage; men divide in divorce. The Pharisees asked Jesus, His opinion on divorce, not to learn, but to test Him. Jesus told them, God's original design of marriage has not changed, and will never change. The Pharisee said Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife in the case of adultery (Mk 10:4). Jesus replied: 'It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment'.

The reply implied, that Moses was faithful, but not the people. Moses gave this concession in marriage because he was under pressure from the 'unteachable'. Moses chose the unity of the whole community over individuals.

The bond of marriage is holy and permanence. An ending of marriage in a court of law violates the holiness, and permanent of marriage. Divorce is the denial of the unbreakable bond of marriage. Divorce violates God's will on marriage. Divorce means one accepts his/her mistake, but denies the responsibility.

Jesus gave further instruction to the apostles, when they were in the house,

The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too mc 10:12.

Life in the wilderness had no entertainment, no sport games, no music festivals; adultery was common. This teaching protects a woman's rights. She is equal in authority, and in marriage relationships. Jesus reminds the apostles, this equality is rooted in creation, which says a woman is a helpmate. She is not a property of a man. She is not a social partner, but a helpmate. She is free to choose him, and he is free to choose her; they are both free to establish a bond, which gives birth to a permanent relationship. This holy bond safeguards her full and equal rights in marriage, and also sharing the same responsibility.

Permanence in marriage is do-able when it is done with God's grace. Permanence in marriage is not just possible, but goes even beyond the grave. Many continue to praise their helpmate years after the death of their spouse. Couples who are celebrating the Golden or Diamond Anniversary of their marriage are blessed in this holy union, and love it. All marriages have both strengths and weaknesses. Some succeed, others fail. The successful ones live a life of mutual support, they praise the strengths, and learn to accept weakness. Failure in marriage happens when one takes it for granted, when one fails to make their love life healthy. It is not wealth, beauty, social status or migration, but true love unites and combines them. True love comes from God. Both have the duty to care for their family, not just with their own strength alone, but relying on God's grace acquired through regular prayer together. When human love is offered to God in prayer, it becomes holy, and marriage is a vocation.

Divorce happens when one's love life is unhealthy. Claiming 'this is my right' means all cry. It is better to show understanding and mutual support. All are victimized and hurt in blaming- the couple themselves, and extended family members. Their very own children are victimized not of their own fault, but the failure of their parents. Jesus showed special concerns for children. It is not the written laws protecting marriage, but the unwritten one, the one in our hearts, that makes a happy marriage.