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August 14, 2015

The good news for today

Jesus discusses marriage and divorce, and concludes: “So a couple is no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together, do not let a human being disconnect.” (Matthew 19, 5-6)

The image here, common at that time, suggests a view people saw every day—a pair of oxen together pulling a wagon. The image emphasizes how marriage creates a common enterprise, a shared toiling onward. It suggests the two oxen helping one another’s weakness to do together a job that they cannot do separately.

“Flesh” in Jesus mind conveys the idea of weakness, of being flawed—our needing one another and God. Rather than sex here, you ought to think of two people leaning on each other to stay upright.

In practice, Jesus is reminding you that true marriage is indissoluble. Let’s be clear, though. He is not describing a marriage blessed by religion or state. He means “God”—that since His God-the-Father is involved, no human paper, no human choice, nor even a humanly written religious dissolution can end such a marriage God sanctions.

God’s gift of Life lies beyond mechanical aspects. Marriage is no mere piece of paper, no mere public statement to society, no ritual, nor an impulsive decision. “What God joins together”—refers to that life-choice you make to commit your Life—your real Life—to another. Marriage shares creating a New Life together, child or not. Marriage means Living together—to help, as well as endure, a fellow human’s weakness till an act of God (no mere human choice) ends it.

Today the Good News reminds us that it is God’s Life—your shared, mortal, mutual, and weak existence in its great variety—that counts.

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