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Friday, February 28, 2014

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James 5:9-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12
Mark 10:1-12

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jesus loves the divorced

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and the woman who divorces her husband and marries another commits adultery." —Mark 10:11-12

Jesus does not believe in divorce, and He never will (see Heb 13:8). In fact, Jesus hates divorce (Mal 2:16). Of course, this does not mean that He hates those who are divorced. The very reason He hates divorce is because He loves those who are divorced and did not want to see them hurt by divorce.

The Church, as the body of Christ, has always been true to Jesus, the Head of the body, and has opposed divorce. In recent years, some denominations, not in full communion with the Catholic Church, have ignored Jesus' words forbidding divorce and second marriages. The Catholic Church has recognized that divorce is sometimes not the fault of divorced persons but something imposed on them by their spouses. In this case, those divorced are not rejecting Jesus' prohibition of divorce but are victims of injustice. The Catholic Church has also realized that not every marriage is a marriage by God's standards, and the Church's diocesan tribunals discern such marriage cases carefully and prayerfully. Therefore, the Church may discern that some second marriages are actually the first and only marriages by God's standards. However, individuals should not discern that for themselves. The Church alone has that responsibility.

Taking into account these clarifications, as Christians we must oppose divorce and second marriages. We must say, do, and love as Jesus does.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the divorced who have unilaterally been faithful to their marriage vows.

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:  Although her husband deserted her with two children, Rita, through God's grace, remained faithful to him and was able to care for him when he returned to her shortly before his death.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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