Thu, 28 February 2019
(Sir.6:5-17; Ps.119:12,16,18,27,34-35; Mk.10:1-12)
“They are no longer two but one flesh.”
How much more clearly could the Lord speak of the unity found in marriage and so the respect due this sacrament? How better could He get His point across to you that marriage is indissoluble, that it is not to be played with, that you commit adultery as you consider divorcing your spouse? “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female.” And by this Jesus does not mean that two separate creatures were made – He means that every one of God’s human beings is both male and female, and that in marriage one finds his wholeness in the sight of God.
When Adam was formed of the dust of the earth, Eve was already present within him, in his very body. She was not created apart from him, but taken from him, “from man” – which is the meaning of “woman.” Adam when he was first made held both male and female in himself, and when woman was taken from him, built of his rib, the two did not cease to be one. Thus does he recognize Eve as flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. Thus the two are inseparable. In marriage this inherent unity returns, is fulfilled. “Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined.”
And if “a faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; [and] he who finds one finds a treasure,” how much more of a shelter is a spouse in whose body one makes his home – how much more valuable a treasure? A friend and more is made by the marriage vow, for truly the spouses become one with one another, and one with the Lord. And so, “when you gain a friend, first test him, and be not too ready to trust him.” Know that you are joining yourself to this spouse body and soul, and such commitment is not to be taken lightly or falsely, with an eye toward leaving “when sorrow comes.” Beware, lest you find “a friend who becomes an enemy,” or that you yourself are not a trustworthy mate. For once joined you cannot be separated, try in vain as you will. One might as well cut off a healthy limb as seek divorce, so grotesque is the proposal. Worse than this, it is as cutting out one’s heart, for how can one divide blood that is commingled?
But you who are faithful of heart, know what blessing awaits you, for “a faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds.” And if you seek “discernment, that [you] may observe [God’s] law and keep it with all [your] heart,” your spouse shall serve as savior to you, who are united with her to Christ. In her you will find your life, even as the two become one.
O LORD, may we take refuge in your friendship.
YHWH, bless all marriages this day; may there be true, lasting friendship between all who vow their love for one another. May they understand the commitment they make and the grace that comes to those faithful to it.
Let us not think that we can separate at will, O LORD; help us to realize the bond that comes even from you in this holy sacrament. Let us not harden our hearts against your loving will but sacrifice our desires to find union with that love. Let us never be adulterous in our relationships with one another or with you.
You would make a sturdy shelter for all those who marry in your NAME and in the blood of your only Son. LORD, what could be of greater worth to us than a faithful friend, a faithful husband or wife, and a marriage founded in your surpassing love? Open all eyes to the wonders you hold for those who love as you command. Write your NAME upon our hearts and upon our wedding promises.