God’s total commitment to us is to be reflected in his people’s attempt to live the generosity so powerfully stated in their wedding vows.
Marriage and the old Law
Jewish law allowed men to divorce, but not women. Instead of being drawn into legalisms, Jesus, as always, focussed on the main point. He reminded his questioners of the origins and purpose of marriage. While divorce was a matter of law, marriage was grounded in Creation. It was a matter of gift and grace, given as a partnership of equals to complete and complement each other. The divorce laws were a result of ‘hardness of heart’, not of grace and peace. They were not a ‘right’ of the virtuous, but a result of imperfection and sin.
The power of successful marriages is enormous, but marriage works only if the commitment is total. We live in a broken world, and are affected by it. This means that there are many good people who have suffered the collapse of their marriage. As the Church, we are seldom interested in whose ‘fault’ it is. We are concerned with the pain and destruction inflicted by this circumstance upon adults and children. A civil decree of divorce is simply a sign that something has gone very wrong; it does not begin to address the broken lives.
Some consider divorce to be a simple matter, even a right. The state of our society shows the cost of such thinking. By working to help marriages succeed, and in strengthening those hurt by divorce, we share in the grace and beauty of God’s Creation.
There will be an hour of silent prayer for the respect for life today, Sunday, Oct. 3 from 2:00-3:00pm at the corner of Merivale Road and Meadowlands Drive. Those who wish may join; signs will be provided. It is a quiet, simple thing, but an important reminder to our society.
May the Lord strengthen us to imitate his love.