He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Jesus sets out the ideal for marriage. He reminds us of what it is meant to be, even though, perhaps through no fault of our own, we may fail to live up to it. God is always present lovingly to the partners, even if through human weakness they have to part.
- Jesus denounces any hardness of heart which can bring about divorce. Spouses must not treat each other as worthless property to be discarded. They are called instead to a life of mutual respect and inter-dependence.