Jesus' Teaching on Marriage

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In today’s first reading from Joshua 24, Joshua addresses the people, speaking for the Lord God. He reminds them of all the things that the Lord had done for them and for their ancestors; mighty deeds that they could not take credit for. God was reminding them that it was He who had given them everything in His loving kindness.

In today’s Gospel passage from Matthew 19, we see Jesus’ teaching about marriage. From this teaching of Jesus we can better understand the teachings of the Church in matters concerning marriage. For many, these things are hard to accept. For some it seems, even impossible. Here is a brief recap of some of these teachings:

  • Marriage is a sacrament between one man and one woman: “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.
    The indissolubility of marriage and the need for marriage to be annulled before one can marry again: “I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.”
    Priestly celibacy: “Some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”

As I said, for many, these teachings are hard to accept, even for some Christians. But these are the words and teachings of Christ Jesus Himself, and Holy Mother Church tells us that she cannot change them.

Father, we thank you for the sacrament of marriage. Strengthen all marriages, Lord. And help those who disagree with and dissent from these teachings of Christ to open their hearts to His truth. Amen.

Today’s Readings

Learn more about marriage and all the sacraments in A Minute in the Church: Back to the Basics, available at


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