Our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and we recommend accepting its use to take full advantage of the navigation

A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

View other days:

Liturgical day: Friday 19th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Ezek 16:1-15.60.63): The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations. Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut; you were neither washed with water nor anointed, nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes. No one looked on you with pity or compassion to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome, the day you were born. Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood. I said to you: Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field.

You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty; your breasts were formed, your hair had grown, but you were still stark naked. Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love. So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness; I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you; you became mine, says the Lord God. Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil. I clothed you with an embroidered gown, put sandals of fine leather on your feet; I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms, a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose, pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver; your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food. You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen. You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was, because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God. But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by, whose own you became. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you, that you may remember and be covered with confusion, and that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord God.
Responsorial Psalm: Is
R/. You have turned from your anger.
God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.

Give thanks to the Lord, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name.

Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!
Verscicle before the Gospel (1Thess 2:13): Alleluia. Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 19,3-12): Some Pharisees approached Jesus. They wanted to test him and asked, «Is a man allowed to divorce his wife for any reason he wants?». Jesus replied, «Have you not read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and he said: ‘Man has now to leave father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one body’? So they are no longer two but one body; let no one separate what God has joined».

They asked him, «Then, why did Moses command us to write a bill of dismissal in order to divorce?». Jesus replied, «Moses knew your stubborn heart, so he allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not so in the beginning. Therefore I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, unless it be for concubinage, and marries another, commits adultery».

The disciples said, «If that is the condition of a married man, it is better not to marry». Jesus said to them, «Not everybody can accept what you have just said, but only those who have received this gift. Some are born incapable of marriage. Some have been made that way by others. But there are some who have given up the possibility of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who can accept it, accept it».

«Let no one separate what God has joined»

Fr. Roger J. LANDRY
(Hyannis, Massachusetts, United States)

Today, Jesus responds to his contemporaries questions about the true meaning of marriage by underlining its indissolubility.

His answer, however, also provides the adequate foundation for Christians to respond to those whose stubborn hearts have made them seek to extend the definition of marriage to homosexual couples.

In taking marriage back to God's original plan, Jesus underlines four things relevant to why only one man and one woman can be joined in marriage:

1) «In the beginning, the Creator made them male and female» (Mt 19:4). Jesus teaches that there is great meaning to our masculinity and femininity in God's plan. To ignore it is to ignore who we are.

2) «Man has now to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife» (Mt 19:5). God's plan is not that a man leave his parents and cling to whomever he wishes, but to a wife.

3) «The two shall become one body» (Mt 19:5). This bodily union goes beyond the short-lived physical union that occurs in the act of making love. It points toward the lasting union that happens when man and woman, through making love, actually procreate a child who is the perduring marriage or union of their bodies. It is obvious that man and man, and woman and woman, cannot become one body in this way.

4) «Let no one separate what God has joined» (Mt 19:6). God himself has joined man and woman in marriage and whenever we try to divide what he has joined, we do so at our own and all of society's expense.

In his catecheses on Genesis, Pope John Paul II said: «In his answer to the Pharisees, Christ put forward to his interlocutors the Total vision of man, without which no adequate answer can be given to questions connected with marriage». Each of us is called to be the “echo” of this Word of God in our own day.