Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 7th Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mark 10:1-12
The Pharisees, as part of their plot to kill Christ, seek to discredit Him on the topic of divorce; Christ’s teaching that divorce is forbidden contradicted Moses’ long-established allowance of divorce. The Pharisees realize that Christ’s position on divorce was the same as John the Baptist’s; by publicizing Jesus’s forbidding of divorce, the divorced Herod may do the Pharisee’s dirty work and kill Christ as he killed John the Baptist.
Christ humiliates the learned Pharisees by exposing their lack of understanding of Scripture by referring to Moses’ own words inspired by God in Genesis (it was held that Moses was inspired to write Genesis) that describes man, woman and marriage and forbids divorce (Gen 2:24); God made two sexes, male and female, and supernaturally binds man and woman together in an unbreakable bond of marriage. He reveals that Moses allowed divorce because of the “hardness” of hearts and that God absolutely forbids divorce, saying “…therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Later, in private, the disciples approach Christ because they are troubled that Christ strictly forbids divorce with no exceptions. Christ does not equivocate, making it clear that not only is divorce forbidden but that men and women who divorce and remarry commit adultery, a mortal sin described in the 6th Commandment of the 10 Commandments.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, with the Father from the beginning, Christ knows Moses’ rationale for the temporary allowance of divorce; on His own authority, Christ forbids divorce, overturning centuries of flawed Jewish practice. Divine King, Christ forcefully rebukes those who attack, decisively destroying their feeble attempts at traps and arguments.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Men, seeking to change the world, attempt to speak with authority, citing public opinion, logic, the latest science, emotion or historical precedent; all of these sources of authority come from imperfect humans. Marvel at the boldness of Christ, the only man in history, whose authority is because He is God; Christ is the unalterable Divine Truth.
2) God’s unchanging truth that marriage is the permanent, exclusive union of a man and a woman was rebelled against during the Incarnation and is rebelled against today ( e.g. non-married “partners”, divorce, homosexual “marriage”, polygamous “marriages”, etc). Only the Catholic Church fully upholds Christ’s unchangeable truth about marriage; Catholic men must affirm Christ’s truth of marriage. Review the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Matrimony (CCC 1601-1666) and pray that Christ strengthen you to fully accept His truth about marriage and that all people come to accept God’s teaching.
3) Conditioned by a 1st Century Jewish culture that accepted divorce, the disciples were stunned when Christ confirms that those who divorce and remarry commit adultery. Today, adultery is rampant: 40% of marriages are remarriages; 1/3 of marriages experience infidelity. Review the Catechism’s teaching on the 6th Commandment (Thou Shall not Commit Adultery – CCC 2331-2400) and pray for Christ to help you and all people to pursue chastity.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries