Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘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.”
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
On their wedding day, Katherine and Jonathan will be married. They will have a marriage license to prove it. But their marriage, in the deepest sense, comes later. Their marriage will be realized after they’ve gone a few rounds. As Pope Francis has said, “sometimes the plates even fly!” Their marriage will be realized after they’ve experienced a loss together—a job, a home through fire, or the loss of a parent, for example. Their marriage will be realized when they have shared a mutually life transforming moment, such as in the birth of a child. Their “marriage” will have arrived then when he comes to the realization, “I am hers.” And she knows, “I am his.” And together they acknowledge, “We belong to one another.” At this point, Jesus says, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
—Fr. Dan Reim, SJ, is campus chaplain at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH.
Lord God, we acknowledge your greatness and our need for your grace in our marriage. Let our life together be a light of hope to those who fear that a total commitment is not possible today. Faith gives us courage, for we believe that the love that comes from you is freeing and life-giving. Lord, be a partner with us in our marriage; with your help it will be strong and enduring. We rejoice that you have brought us together. May we always be one in you.
—Excerpt of Prayer of a Married Couple by Lauri Przybysz, © 1990, published on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s website