Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (10: 1-12) in which the Pharisees test Jesus by asking ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’.Fr Paul says, what we need to be aware with this Gospel today is that the Pharisees come to Jesus with a trick question… they already know the law, they already know what the law of divorce is, they know it is allowed and they will quote this law to Jesus… by asking this question the Pharisees are wanting Jesus to explain what he considers are the grounds for divorce and, therefore, hope to trick him. Jesus does not answer their question at all. Jesus, in fact, goes beyond the question which was about the Law of Moses and he goes right back to the original Divine Plan. Remember the words, ‘but from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man will leave father and mother and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore but one body so then what God has united, man must not divide’. Again, by doing this, by going back to the original Divine Plan and not the Law of Moses, Jesus is implicitly claiming divine authority. Fr Paul invites us today to pray for all those who are married, but acknowledging, too, those who have sadly suffered through a divorce. Married or divorced, Fr Paul says, let us pray for all those we know, in our families and amongst our friends, to strengthen marriages and to heal the wounds that divorce may have caused.
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