One Body

Pharisees ask Jesus, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce
his wife?’ and in response to Jesus’ question, they add ‘Moses
allowed us to draw up a writ of dismissal.’ Their words reflect the
inequality of the Jewish Law at that time; a man could divorce his
wife by a very simple procedure, but a woman had no right to divorce
her husband. A woman dismissed by her husband could be cast off
without money, property or place in society – she was nobody. In
his reply, Jesus goes back to the origins of the human race. God
created man and woman to be ‘one body,’ supporting one another in
the covenant of marriage, which cannot be dissolved by human power.
It seems a hard teaching to his disciples, but Jesus is challenging
the unjust custom of his time.

Scripture readings remind us how important it is for the Church to
support married couples and families on their journey through life.
This week, the Synod of Bishops is meeting with the Pope in Rome, to
discuss the Church’s ministry to young people. Young people today
grow up in families of different shapes and sizes. Marriages can
break down and families can find themselves in difficult situations.
Pope Francis has often reminded us of the need to support and
encourage every family, whatever their circumstances.

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