Today’s first reading from Genesis and the Gospel reading from Mark present an ideal image of union between a man and a woman. Later this beautiful image will be used by Paul to describe the union between God and the church. In the Genesis narrative we hear today, the woman is formed from the man’s rib so that they are of the same flesh literally, and then they begin to live with such complementarity that they become one unit, one flesh — a couple. For Jesus in Mark’s Gospel, this was such an important way of being human that he forbad divorce. The world we experience is not ideal, of course, so through the ages the church has tried to provide ways of dealing with situations when unions that are attempted don’t match up to the ideal. Pope Francis has shown compassion and greater flexibility about how church law regarding divorce and annulments ought to be applied. But we have a long way to go before the thousands of Catholics in irregular but loving unions can be fully embraced in our law and liturgy. Let’s pray for all these people today.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia