Gospel for the Common of Virgins

Matthew 19:3-12

Summary: Jesus addressed the Pharisees' query about divorce by emphasizing the sacredness of marriage as intended from creation, underscoring the inseparable union between husband and wife established by God. He clarified Moses' allowance for divorce as a concession to human stubbornness, not the original intent. Jesus further highlighted the gravity of divorce and remarriage as adultery, except in cases of sexual immorality, and acknowledged celibacy as a valid, though not universal, calling for those committed to heavenly pursuits.

Teaching on Marriage and Divorce

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”

He said in reply, “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, no human being must separate.”

They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”

He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.”

His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

He answered, “Not all can accept this word,* but only those to whom that is granted.

Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

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