Commentary on the Gospel of
On the question of marriage and divorce, Jesus makes the mind of God clear: What God has joined together, human beings must not separate. From the beginning of creation, God has intended it to be so.
But from the beginning of creation, we haven’t had a marriage without problems! Starting with the union of Adam and Eve, the prototypal couple, to this day, we have hardly had a union free of problems, challenges, little betrayals, and heartaches, despite its many joys.
Jesus gives us the “ideal.” However, the “actual” is far from the ideal. We do fight. We cheat. We separate. Divorces abound in the world. Those who want to remain united, it is hard labour.
Life is to be managed by minding the gap between the ideal and the actual. The more we are able to bridge the gap, the more blessed we shall be. But this requires a willingness to recognize and accept the ideal and the actual and to work on bridging the gap. This is what Pope Francis speaks of, in his encyclical Amoris Laetitia. Marriage and family are hard work. It requires love, commitment, compassion, and daily healing. Living the union until death do us part, is one hard act of loving labour. It is just like the friendship that today’s First Reading speaks of. One who finds a faithful friend finds a treasure, alright; but finding a perfect friend is, more often than not, a hard act. True and lasting friendship simply does not happen: we grow into it, day by day, piece by piece, through shared love, hurts, betrayals, forgiveness, compassion, and repeated reconciliations. It is life’s art worth working for.
So it is, with committed, everlasting union in marriage. It is an art worth struggling for. For, what is more beautiful and heavenly than witnessing a couple who day by day work towards growing in love until death do them part!