Mk 10:2-16




A friend once told me that in their family, there is peace. This is because it is the women who rule over the men. When the women prevail, and the men are subservient, peace reigns. Another friend of mine insisted that in his family, only he is in-charge; that he made it clear to his wife that she will always be under him. And this, he said, is the secret of their successful marriage.


Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that the true secret of a happy, lasting, and fruitful marriage is when God rules. That means, that within a successful marriage and family is the awareness that God is present in the lives of husband, wife and children. What God has joined together – isn’t this a powerful reminder that it is God who brings together two strangers into a bond of mutual love? It is not the stars, or destiny, but God unites man and woman in love. No one can separate – another powerful reminder that separation does not flow from his design but from weak and stubborn human hearts.


Marriage is not easy, never a trivial matter. It is a sacrament, a mystery. And this means precisely that what happens in marriage affects people’s relationship with God. A married person who is faithful to his or her spouse if faithful to God. But an unfaithful person betrays God. A relationship built on trust and freedom reflects the goodness of God, while one that is oppressive and deceptive blocks the rays of God’s light from shining through.


For Catholics, marriage is not mere human relationship but also a relationship with God. Have you heard of the Croatian traditional Catholic wedding? In Croatia, Catholic bride and groom pronounce their vows while holding a crucifix. This makes them aware that they pledge love and fidelity through sickness and health, riches and poverty, bliss and trials not only to their spouse but to the Lord above all. After the wedding, the crucifix occupies a prominent place in the family altar where the couple pray with their kids everyday for all kinds of graces. No wonder they say, divorce is rare in Croatia. Shouldn’t our churches introduce this approach to wedding vows as well?


Let us pray for married couples, especially for those undergoing many sorts of trials in their relationships. Let us pray for those considering marriage that they may be spiritually prepared. Let us pray for those who experienced failed marriages that they may not feel rejected or abandoned but encouraged to continue asking the Lord for guidance and strength.