Today’s Gospel: Mark 10, 1-12
Again with the Pharisees testing Jesus. Are they just trying to figure out what team He’s on, or if He remembers all the official Jewish teaching? Maybe they’re a little miffed at the crowds who followed Jesus and hung on every word He said, never having showed such enthusiasm for the teachings the Pharisees held dear. Are they just waiting to nab Jesus, waiting for Him to contradict the accepted teachings, so they can justify arresting Him…or worse?
Pope Francis has been talking a great deal about marriage and he’s been getting some flak for streamlining the annulment process. From what I understand, Pope Francis is not disputing the indissolubility of the sacrament of marriage. He is not advocating for some kind of no fault Catholic divorce. He is in fact upholding the sanctity of marriage, and in his characteristic passion to extend the Lord’s Mercy, he is trying to free his flock from broken marriages that never quite met the criteria for truly sacramental unions.
Annulments do not in fact dissolve marriages…the formal process instead acknowledges that the marriage was not valid due to the circumstances of the marriage or the predisposition of at least one of the spouses.
Just like Moses, Pope Francis is trying to help fallen people to act rightly; to maybe give a little benefit of the doubt for the sake of mercy. He’s trying to lift the burden and open the doors for as many people as possible to receive the sacraments and to enjoy full communion with the Church.
Pope Francis models for us how to live with a softened heart. He knows that we’re all sinners in desperate need of God’s Mercy. We’re called to compassion rather than condemnation.
In what areas do we need to soften our hardened hearts?
Lord, soften my heart. Show me how to receive Your Mercy and reflect your unconditional, compassionate love to others.
Copyright 2016 Monica McConkey
Monica McConkey is a mother of five who creates craft kits, books and quizzing cards to help celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith in fun new ways. She blogs about Catholic activities and family traditions at www.EquippingCatholicFamilies.com.