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FRIENDSHIP AND MARRIAGE

Father Francis's picture
Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Ecclus. 5:5-17 & Mk. 10:1-12

A true and faithful friend is something beyond price. And friendship is the topic of the First Reading today. True friendship should reflect the loving relationship in God, in the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, in Whom you will find no jealousy, possessiveness nor lack of trust. A friend is always there for you, the best person to have around in time of need.

Jesus' words are so absolute and unbending. They can also sound very harsh, especially to people who have been through a divorce, or if a family member or close friend has suffered a failed marriage. Experience tells us that divorce is a traumatic reality that can leave deep and lasting wounds, but we know that Jesus can heal even the most difficult of marriages.

Think about the pain that divorced couples feel. A relationship that began with high ideals, and much joy and optimism, has degenerated into distrust, anger, rejection and even hatred. What was 'one flesh' has been torn apart. How can Jesus possibly sit in merciless condemnation of those genuinely affected? The answer is He does not. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn but to save (Jn.3:17). Jesus doesn't want to crush people by telling them only where they may have gone wrong. He wants to meet all of us, wherever we are in our life journey, and offer us healing.

Those who are divorced should know that Jesus loves them just as much as ever. He even suffers with them. Think about His encounter with the woman at the well. He didn't condemn her even though she had married five times and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Instead, He brought her to repentance, healed her and sent her back to her village to tell other people about Him.

Whether married, divorced or single, we all need to know God's healing. God wants to mend the wounds in every marriage, as well as the wounds of those who have been affected by divorce. He wants to reconcile us, transform us and use us to proclaim His kingdom, irrespective of what we have, or have not, done in the past. So never let us be afraid to go to Him, in whatever state we are. Let Him put His arms around us and give us His blessing.

Lord Jesus, may our relationships reflect the love of each Person of the Blessed Trinity. Pour out Your grace on every family that has been through divorce. Heal them and restore their hope. When occasion arises, let us be part of Your healing touch in troubled marriages.

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