Responsorial Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
Gospel, Matthew 19:3-12
3 Some Pharisees approached him, and to put him to the test they said, 'Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?'
4 He answered, 'Have you not read that the Creator from the beginning made them male and female
5 and that he said: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh?
6 They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.'
7 They said to him, 'Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?'
8 He said to them, 'It was because you were so hard-hearted, that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning.
9 Now I say this to you: anyone who divorces his wife -- I am not speaking of an illicit marriage -- and marries another, is guilty of adultery.'
10 The disciples said to him, 'If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is advisable not to marry.'
11 But he replied, 'It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted.
12 There are eunuchs born so from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs made so by human agency and there are eunuchs who have made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.'
Jesus came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17). This is a statement that bewildered the Jewish teaching authorities of Jesus' time. They had a hard time reconciling the seemingly new teachings Jesus was putting forward in contrast to their 613 laws. There was no way for them to comprehend him if they would only stick to the laws they have multiplied out of the ones given to Moses. And the Gospel reading today manifests the apprehension the law authorities have towards Jesus regarding the laws.
Jesus boldly upholds the sanctity of marriage. Marriage can be drawn up from the Old Testament up to the New Testament. This, in time, evolved into an ecclesial Sacrament due to its divine institution as seen in Scriptures.
When tested by the Pharisees about marital questions, Jesus stood still and unshaken based on His Father's command. Jesus, as the Son of God, cannot be mistaken in interpreting the law. He is the Son of God. He was there when the law was given to Moses. He was even there when the first couple was created. Why and How? Simply because He is the Word through which everything was made (cf. Jn 1:1). He is simply the Christ, the Anointed One.
The Sacrament of Marriage is so important because here a couple is given the chance to encounter God in the most unique way where the family is built. However, presumed to have love in the first place, love between two individuals ought to be the reason for their coming together and deciding to enter into a lifetime partnership before God and man. As they swear to each other and promise to love each other for the rest of their lives with full consent, marriage as a Sacrament is validly contracted. And its consummation brings it to perfection. This is the beauty of this Sacrament. Above all, we must not forget the indissolubility of the couple's partnership. This elevates marriage into a Sacrament as God is involved in this covenant.
Marriage is a Sacrament received not by all. Among the many other reasons for staying single, I suppose the greatest is to remain single and chaste for the sake of the Kingdom. I do admire those who are single and chaste, yet faithfully dedicating their lives in the service of God. This noble intention perchance has been motivated by their love for God. And for the clerics and vowed religious, to be chaste and single for the sake of the Kingdom are challenges we have received from Him. Nevertheless, to be able to respond to God is a gift given to us by Him who has challenged us. Grace abounds the most amidst life's most difficult times.