Wednesday, 28 May 2014

St Mark 10:1-16

Chapter 10 of St Mark's Gospel takes us to the divine teaching on the indissolubility of marriage:

1 Et inde exsurgens venit in fines Judææ ultra Jordanem: et conveniunt iterum turbæ ad eum: et sicut consueverat, iterum docebat illos. 2 Et accedentes pharisæi interrogabant eum: Si licet viro uxorem dimittere: tentantes eum. 3 At ille respondens, dixit eis: Quid vobis præcepit Moyses? 4 Qui dixerunt: Moyses permisit libellum repudii scribere, et dimittere. 5 Quibus respondens Jesus, ait: Ad duritiam cordis vestri scripsit vobis præceptum istud: 6 ab initio autem creaturæ masculum et feminam fecit eos Deus. 7 Propter hoc relinquet homo patrem suum et matrem, et adhærebit ad uxorem suam: 8 et erunt duo in carne una. Itaque jam non sunt duo, sed una caro. 9 Quod ergo Deus conjunxit, homo non separet. 10 Et in domo iterum discipuli ejus de eodem interrogaverunt eum. 11 Et ait illis: Quicumque dimiserit uxorem suam, et aliam duxerit, adulterium committit super eam. 12 Et si uxor dimiserit virum suum, et alii nupserit, mœchatur.13 Et offerebant illi parvulos ut tangeret illos. Discipuli autem comminabantur offerentibus. 14 Quos cum videret Jesus, indigne tulit, et ait illis: Sinite parvulos venire ad me, et ne prohibueritis eos: talium enim est regnum Dei. 15 Amen dico vobis: Quisquis non receperit regnum Dei velut parvulus, non intrabit in illud. 16 Et complexans eos, et imponens manus super illos, benedicebat eos.

 And rising up from thence, he cometh into the coasts of Judea beyond the Jordan: and the multitudes flock to him again. And as he was accustomed, he taught them again. [2] And the Pharisees coming to him asked him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. [3] But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? [4] Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away. [5] To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that precept. [6] But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. [7] For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. [8] And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. [9] What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [10] And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing.
[11] And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. [12] And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. [13] And they brought to him young children, that he might touch them. And the disciples rebuked them that brought them. [14] Whom when Jesus saw, he was much displeased, and saith to them: Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. [15] Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it.[16] And embracing them, and laying his hands upon them, he blessed them.

Commentary (from the Catena Aurea)

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or else, it is said, For the hardness of your hearts, because it is possible for a soul purged from desires and from anger to bear the worst of women; but if those passions have a redoubled force over the mind, many evils will arise from hatred in marriage. Thus then, He saves Moses, who had given the law, from their accusation, and turns the whole upon their head. But since what He had said was grievous to them, He at once brings back the discourse to the old law, saying, But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. 

BEDE; He says not male and females, which the sense would have required had it referred to the divorce of former wives, but male and female, so that they might be bound by the tie of one wife. 

CHRYS. If however he had wished one wife to be put away and another to be brought in, He would have created several women. Nor did God only join one woman to one man, but He also bade a man quit his parents and cleave to his wife. Wherefore it goes on: And he said, (that is, God said by Adam,) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife. From the very mode of speech, showing the impossibility of severing marriage, because He said, He shall cleave. 

BEDE; And in like manner, because He says, he shall cleave to his wife, not wives. It goes on: And they two shall be one flesh. 

CHRYS. Being framed out of one root, they will join into one body. It goes on: So then they are no more two, but one flesh. 

BEDE; The reward then of marriage is of two to become one flesh. Virginity being joined to the Spirit, becomes of one spirit. 

CHRYS. After this, bringing forward an awful argument, He said not, do not divide, but He concluded, What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. 

AUG. Behold the Jews are convinced out of the books of Moses, that a wife is not to be put away, while they fancied that in putting her away, they were doing the will of Moses. In like manner from this place, from the witness of Christ Himself, we know this, that God made and joined male and female, for denying which the Manichees are condemned, resisting now not the books of Moses, but the Gospel of Christ. 

BEDE; What therefore God has conjoined by making one flesh of a man and a woman, that man cannot separate, but God alone. Man separates, when we dismiss the first wife because we desire a second; but it is God who , separates, when by common consent, for the sake of serving God, we so have wives as though we had none. 

CHRYS. But if two persons, whom God has joined together, are not to be separated; much more is it wrong to separate from Christ, the Church, which God has joined to Him. 

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The Lord calls by the name of adultery cohabitation with her who is not a man's wife; she is not, however, a wife, whom a man has taken to him, after quitting his first; and for this reason he commits adultery upon her, that is, upon the second, whom he brings in. And the same thing is true in the case of the woman; wherefore it goes on, And if a woman shall put away her husband, and marry another, she commits adultery; for she cannot be joined to another as her own husband, if she leave him who is really her own husband. The law indeed forbade what was plainly adultery; but the Savior forbids this, which was neither plain, nor known to all, though it was contrary to nature. 

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