Marriage, vocational path, dignity, unity, indissolubility

The Gospel of the Mass presents us with some Pharisees who approached Jesus to ask him a question with the intention of tempting him: Is it licit for a man to divorce his wife for any reason? It was a question that divided the different schools of interpretation of Scripture. Divorce was commonly admitted; the question posed here to Jesus concerns the casuistry of motives. But the Lord uses this banal question to enter into the fundamental problem: indissolubility. Christ, absolute Lord of all legislation, restores marriage to its original essence and dignity, as it was conceived by God: "Have you not read," Jesus answers them, "that in the beginning the Creator 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 then they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (...).

The Lord proclaimed forever the unity and indissolubility of marriage above all human considerations. There are many reasons in favor of the indissolubility of the marital bond: the very nature of conjugal love, the good of the children, the good of society.... But the deep root of the indissolubility of marriage lies in the very will of the Creator, who made it so: one and indissoluble. So strong is this bond that it is contracted that only death can break it. St. Francis de Sales explains it with this graphic image: "When two pieces of fir wood are glued together to form a joint, if the glue is thin, the union becomes so solid that the pieces will break on the other side, but never at the place of the joint "2; thus marriage.

In order to carry out this undertaking, the marital vocation, which is a gift of God,3 is necessary, in such a way that family life and conjugal duties, the education of children, the effort to bring up and improve the family economically, are situations that the spouses must supernaturalize,4 living through them a life of dedication to God; they must have the persuasion that God provides their assistance so that they can adequately fulfill the duties of the married state, in which they are to sanctify themselves.

By faith and the teaching of the Church, we Christians have a deeper and more perfect knowledge of what marriage is, of the importance of the family for every man, for the Church and for society. Hence our responsibility in these times in which attacks on this human and divine institution do not cease on any front: by means of magazines, of striking scandals that are given special publicity, of television serials that reach a large public that little by little is deforming its conscience.... By giving the true doctrine - that of the natural law, enlightened by faith - we are doing a great good to society as a whole.

Let us think today in our prayer if we defend the family -especially the weakest members, those who can suffer more harm- from these external aggressions, and if we strive to live delicately those virtues that are a help to all: mutual respect, the spirit of service, kindness, understanding, optimism, joy that overcomes moods, attentiveness to all but especially to the most needy....