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Friday, May 23, 2008

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James 5:9-12
Psalm 103
Mark 10:1-12

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divorce and remarriage

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery." —Mark 10:11

Jesus' condemnation of divorce is shocking. His disciples questioned Him about this and so should we (Mk 10:10). Jesus said, "Whoever divorces his wife (lewd conduct is a separate case) and marries another commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery" (Mt 19:9). "Lewd conduct" is often interpreted to mean adultery. However, this is probably not the meaning of the passage. A study of the Greek word for "lewd conduct" and of parallel and related passages shows that "lewd conduct" probably means an incestuous union, not uncommon among pagans.

Paul mentioned another occasion, after a divorce is initiated by the unbelieving spouse, when divorce and remarriage is allowed (1 Cor 7:15). Paul also stressed that the believing spouse should do all in his or her power to preserve the marriage (1 Cor 7:16). Although these are two exceptions, Jesus hates divorce (Mal 2:16). However, remarriage without being granted an annulment by the Church is more of a problem than divorce. Jesus loves the divorced and will heal, save, and love them.

No matter what your situation, turn to Jesus. He is "close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves" (Ps 34:19).

Prayer:  Father, may divorced people accept Your order in their lives and receive Your love.

Promise:  "You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and have seen what the Lord, Who is compassionate and merciful, did in the end." —Jas 5:11

Praise:  Jane and Thomas celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary by publicly renewing their vows.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Marriage on audio AV 47B-1 or video V-47B.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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