Today's Gospel: Mark 10:1-12
Jesus’ teaching on marriage in today’s Gospel passage centers around the beautiful imagery from the Book of Genesis. He sidesteps the Pharisees’ attempts to trick Him by focusing on the reality of marriage as originally instituted by God - as a man and a woman becoming one flesh.
Yet the beauty of this image does not preclude its challenging nature. For to become of one heart and mind with another first requires dying to self and sacrificing our own wants and needs for the good of the other. To become one flesh with another requires a continual decision each day to love and serve the other above ourselves.
As Jesus emphasizes though, the union of a man and woman in marriage necessarily involves the grace of God. Indeed, marriage is not just a human act of joining two lives together, but more importantly, an act of God joining two persons together. Further, we need a continual outpouring of God’s grace through prayer and the sacraments to sustain us in our commitment to this mutual, self-giving love, beyond what we can accomplish through our human efforts alone.
Both the beauty and challenge of marriage is that it is a sign of God’s loving covenant with each of us - indissoluble, complete, and eternal. Thanks be to God that He grants us not only the perfect model of this love in the person of Jesus Christ, but also the grace we need to support us on the journey.
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How can you take some time today to pray for an outpouring of God’s grace on married couples - either by praying with and for your own spouse, or by praying for the married couples in your community?
Lord, help me to remember how much I need Your grace to love as You love. Grant me the humility to intentionally seek this grace each day.
Copyright 2017 Danielle Bianchi
Danielle Bianchi earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and is a graduate of the school’s Echo Program for catechetical leadership. She and her husband have four children.