In today's gospel reading, the Pharisees approached Jesus expecting to outwit the backwoods Nazarene with their cosmopolitan religious sophistication. They put this question to him: 'Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?' Similarly, many a faithful Catholic, or non-Catholic-Christian, criticized as a 'bible thumper,' or accused of clinging to 'their bibles and their guns' will meet up with the 21st Century Pharisee, wielding the latest in secularist-progressive-cosmopolitan-cafeteria theology, questioning the faithful disciples adherence in the Bible and in ancient, and 'archaic,' Church Tradition. Yet, standing firm in the same Spirit which filled the pure and simple Nazarene, the disciple must speak the Truth, even onto deaf ears.
For the simple Wisdom of God will always outwit the complex and duplicitous sophistication of man.
For Jesus reveals, in His response, the twofold manner in which we must always answer the Pharisee, constantly remembering to be compassionate with their plight, since we're all one step away from the very same Pharisaism through the common susceptibility to sin. But by the grace of God our first response must be to witness to God's design in Life, from conception to natural death, in Marriage, solely between a man and a woman, and in the beauty of marital and nuptial love, where sexuality is an expression of self-giving love always open to life, experienced within the marital bond held together by God--which 'man must not divide.'
For Jesus said: 'Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.'
Our second response must address the reality of fallen human nature and the penchant to re-create religion in the image of man, in the service of concupiscence, on the altar of the idol of immediate gratification. For abortion and euthanasia redesign God's Loving intent, perverting it in humanities fallen need for convenience; gay marriage, and any other union which is not between a mature and consenting man and woman, is a redesigning of God's participation in Trinitarian Love, replacing it with a self-theistic, narcissistic arrangement; and promiscuity, divorce-on-demand, contraception, and pornography are a redesign of God's plan for marital-nuptial love, consummated in sexual expression, perverted into a carnival of pleasures and conveniences meant to destroy the dignity of the human person, revealing nothing more than a passion-led beast.
For Jesus said: 'Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.'
Like divorce, the Lord God made allowances for our ignorance and our weakness, sending forth His only begotten Son, not only to illuminate our hearts and minds with the gospel message, but to die for our sins, Rising in the Spirit, which inspires us in Apostolic Teaching, gracing our way in the Way of the transcending and sanctified man. When fallen man, standing in pride and lust, meets Risen Man in repentance and faith, fallen man falls gracefully to his knees, and transcends his, or her, former self in the desire for, and recognition of, the simpler and higher form of human sexuality, blessed in the strengthening presence of God the Father.
And only in meeting the Loving and Merciful Purity of the Risen Man can the fallen man, and woman, appreciate the goodness, and beauty, and truth, and strength, and freedom which flow from God's original design.