In the first reading today from Joshua 24, Joshua gives the people a bit of a history lesson. This is pretty common, as people need to be reminded from time to time about the marvelous things God has done for them. That was true then, and still is today.
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 19, we see Jesus’ teachings on marriage. He quotes Genesis – For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh – and then speaks of the indissolubility of marriage. This was difficult for Jesus’ listeners at the time, and may be even more so today. Why?
Our idea of marriage has become so skewed. We often use only “happiness” as a litmus test for whether or not things are working out, whether we want to stay married or not. (Please remember this is a great generalization. Statistics would say that half the people reading this have been divorced, and I’m sure each of them probably feel justified. I am passing no judgment here.) No-fault divorce has been a scourge on the family. Having just celebrated my 37th anniversary, I can assure you that marriage takes lots of work. When we put God at the center of our lives and our marriages, we increase our odds of success, and happiness, exponentially. If you’re married, pray together as a couple. And whether you’re married or not, please pray for all marriages.
Father, be close to married couples. Give them strength, patience, love, forgiveness and all they need to be a witness to your love and grace always. Amen.