The two shall become one flesh. 

When Jesus talks about marriage in today’s Gospel, he reaches all the way back, beyond the Law of Moses, to the Book of Genesis. He tells some Pharisees that Moses permitted a bill of divorce, but that divorce was never God’s intention. When a man and woman are joined together as husband and wife, God makes them “one flesh” (Mark 10:8). “Therefore,” Jesus adds, “what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (10:9).

However, we know that reality often falls far short of this ideal. We are all subject to sin, which leads to discord and division. Even when couples have the best of intentions, they can sometimes reach an impasse in their relationship that they can’t seem to overcome. Sadly, there are also times when a spouse is at risk of abuse and must leave the marriage.

This is a tragedy for all involved, and yet how comforting it is to know that God doesn’t withdraw his love from a couple when they divorce. As James writes in today’s first reading, “the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (5:11). Jesus continues to pour out his mercy, even when one or the other spouse has sinned or has made decisions that they later regret. He longs for anyone who has experienced divorce to come to him and receive his grace and mercy. So compassionate is the Lord that he even mourns alongside those who are grieving the end of a once-cherished relationship.

Jesus also longs to heal the deep-seated wounds that result from a broken marriage. As anyone who is divorced knows, this takes time, prayer, and support from pastors, counselors, and friends. The Church offers such healing through the annulment process. The experience of looking back on the origins of a relationship, though difficult, can provide clarity, closure, and, ultimately, God’s healing grace.

If you are divorced, be assured of God’s love and mercy. If you know someone who is struggling in their marriage or is in the middle of a divorce, provide a listening ear and encourage them to cling to the Lord. Finally, take a moment today to pray for all married couples. May they be witnesses of the great love God has for each one of us!

“Jesus, thank you for your mercy, which knows no bounds!”

James 5:9-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12
Mark 10:1-12


Subscribe To Father Maurice's Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, inspirational blogs, and updates from Father Maurice

You have Successfully Subscribed!