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.
As I prayed with this Gospel the phrase that stayed with me was “because of the hardness of your hearts” (as we hear in the translation used at Mass).
Jesus reminds us that our hearts become hard, angry and unforgiving, even with people we love the most.
I imagine then the hardness of my heart towards those I don’t know, or love.
The history of our world, our country, and our religion, demonstrates humanity’s tendency to turn away from people on the margins, not seeing them as brother and sister but as “other.” This is not the way of Jesus. His way is an outpouring of compassion and forgiveness seventy times seven.
I am so grateful for the blessing of forgiveness through reconciliation. The opportunity to begin again, to live more like Jesus, a new heart recreated by the gentleness of God’s love and grace. A reconciled relationship is one where nothing is in the way, we are eyelash to eyelash. What a beautiful way to live.
Who is Jesus calling you to draw near to, to soften your heart to, to reconcile with?
—Erin Maiorca is the Executive Director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. Erin’s other vocations include wife to Tom and mother to two wonderful sons.
You fashioned the heavens, you gathered the seas.
Can you create a new heart in me?
God of Compassion, your servant has sinned.
Breathe out your spirit. Create me again.
—Lyrics to “Create Me Again (Psalm 51)” by Rory Cooney, © 1992 GIA Publications, IncPlease share the Good Word with your friends!