Friday  of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia

Gospel: Mark 10:1-12
*What God has joined together*

1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them. 2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.’ 7 `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” 10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Quote from the early church fathers:

*Mutual servants, equally serving,* by Tertullian, 160-225 A.D.

“Where are we to find language adequately to express the happiness of that marriage which the church cements, the oblation confirms, the benediction signs and seals, the angels celebrate, and the Father holds as approved? For all around the earth young people do not rightly and lawfully wed without their parents’ consent. What kind of yoke is that of two believers who share one hope, one desire, one discipline, one service? (Ephesians 4:4) They enjoy kinship in spirit and in flesh. They are mutual servants with no discrepancy of interests. Truly they are ‘two in one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31). Where the flesh is one, the spirit is one as well. Together they pray, together bow down, together perform their fasts, mutually teaching, mutually entreating, mutually upholding. In the church of God they hold an equal place. (Romans 12:15; 15:6; Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 12:12) They stand equally at the banquet of God, equally in crises, equally facing persecutions, and equally in refreshments. Neither hides anything from the other. Neither neglects the other. Neither is troublesome to the other (Philippians 1:27).” (excerpt from TO HIS WIFE 2.8)

*Prayer:*
“Lord Jesus Christ, your call to holiness extends to all in every state of life. Sanctify our lives – as married couples and as singles – that we may live as men and women who are consecrated to you. Make us leaven in a society that disdains life-long marriage fidelity, chastity, and living single for the Lord”.