1. Introductory prayer
I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words, or with those that are here…
The spouses represent God’s deep longing for us. Lord, grant us the grace to nurture this longing for the Love that you have put in us, to put it into practice in life in various ways, to show your Love.
2. Reading – Listening: What God has joined together – Mark 10:2-16 – Meaning and Commentary
2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
The Little Children and Jesus
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them, and blessed them.
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3. Thoughts on the Gospel: What God has joined together – Mark 10:2-16 – Meaning and Commentary
Jesus approached the question of the separation of husband and wife by leading the listeners to the beginning of creation and to God’s plan for the human race. In (Gen. 2: 23-24) we see God’s purpose and ideal for the two who marry to become so inextricably linked that they would be one “flesh.” This plan is found in the inseparable unity of Adam and Eve. They were created for each other. They are a model and symbol for all their descendants. Jesus also explains that Moses allowed divorce because they lost that ideal.
Jesus placed the high rungs of marriage before those who are willing to accept his commandments. He also placed high demands on those who voluntarily renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19: 11-12). Marriage, priestly celibacy, or the vow of purity of nuns are God’s call to a consecrated life so that we do not belong only to ourselves and live only for ourselves, but for God. Our life is not our property but belongs to God. It is his gift and he wants it to become a gift to others. Just as Jesus did not come to be served, but to be served (Mark 10:45), so he wants every man in his state to become like him in service, in service to others.
What God has joined together in marriage and in priesthood or monasticism to those to whom he is sent. Both the sacrament of marriage and priestly ordination are sacraments of service. Of course, he not only expects this from his disciples but also gives them grace and strength if they connect with him, as a sapling is connected with a vine (Jn 15).
What God has joined together with the sacrament of the holy marriage makes husband and wife partakers of the love of the Triune God. Their human mutual love is accepted into God’s Love. In it, they completely and eternally surrender to each other, dedicate themselves, shape themselves and dedicate themselves to each other. From now on, their life together is based on absolute Love, to which they can turn again and again and receive from it the strength to persevere in times of trial. The grace of the Holy Spirit, which has been poured out in their hearts in a special way during the communion of the sacrament of the marriage, wants to be always available to them so that they can love one another as Christ loves them (Jn 15; 1 Cor 13). After the sacrament, Christian spouses become, in essence, a visible sign of the Love of Jesus Christ for their Church (Ephesians 5: 25-27). Their mutual conjugal love became the “sacred space” of the presence of the Spirit of Christ; “Proof” that God is that God Love exists.
No one is unimportant to God. He comes to each person individually to touch him with his healing love and power. Therefore, let us never prevent anyone from being able to come to him and receive his blessing and healing power. Everyone is welcome with him, even those who are unable to live his ideal.
4. Meditation – thinking
About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:
- When there are divisions, sin, the image of Love is broken, and Love remains, lives on. How does God show me His love for me today?
- What can Jesus’ description of spouses tell me about God’s love for me?
5. Personal Prayer
In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).
6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…
When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving, and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).
8. Prayer at the end
Thank you for the gift of the marriage, Lord! Through it, you show us your deep, infinite Love. Thank you that we can prepare for the gift of the marriage, cultivate it, take care of it – in ourselves or in the people around us, and thus observe how your Love changes into concrete life.
9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:
- How was I feeling when I started praying?
- What happened during the prayer?
- What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
- How did I feel about the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
- What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others, and me to him and others?
- How did I finish my prayer?
- What did I receive for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
- Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.
Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si
Text from the Bible – New International Version (NIV)