Gospel Mk 10:2-16
“But at the beginning of creation...”
In today’s Gospel we read of how Jesus dealt with the contentious issues surrounding marriage in his own day by pointing towards God’s creative intention ‘In the beginning.’ This brings us right back to the stories of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden.
In our own day it seems that we need this constant reminder of our creatureliness, and of who made marriage in the first place. In his teaching on this obviously contentious topic Christ himself points out that the relative laxity of the Law of Moses in this regard was a concession for those living after the Fall and prior to the Incarnation of Christ. His words here not only re-affirm the original vision for marriage, but efficaciously call us all to a redeemed and sacramental understanding of marriage.
Here he is not at all like the Pharisees of his time, tying up heavy religious burdens for the people that he is not willing to carry [cf. Mt 23:4]. No. Instead he shoulders the heaviest of our burdens, taking on all our sin and inviting us to a new life, redeemed by the blood offered in sacrifice on the cross.
His call to a conception of marriage as indissoluble, as it was ‘in the beginning,’ is not just some ‘pie in the sky’ ideal, but an efficacious call. His words here have a power that is beyond mere human effort. We need to couple our effort with an openness to the grace God wishes to bestow upon us.
Perhaps too this can serve as a model for how we might engage in current discussions concerning marriage. Rather than debate supposed social consequences, we can emulate Christ by pointing to an understanding of marriage as it was in the beginning, and elevated by Christ to the level of a sacrament.
Do I have faith in the power of Christ’s words that love can last?