Advent Day 15 of 50: For Women
In the previous sessions, we’ve learned the need to take control of our lives, emotionally and spiritually as much as physically. In addressing murder and adultery, Jesus separated the thought from the action. In controlling our desires, or lust, we find the necessity to structure our physical urges. Marriage is the vehicle by which we take control of our powers, and you would assume Jesus’ next statement would be about the sanctity of marriage. Well, it is, in a rather roundabout way. Jesus speaks next about divorce.
The passage in question comes from Matthew 5:31 and 32, “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
This passage is an addendum to his commandment on adultery, if for no other reason than to save the virtue of the women, or what we may call today, Woman’s rights. At the time of Jesus, women did not have many rights, in fact, they were not accounted for unless they were married or had sons. By adding this passage to the adultery commandment, Jesus is standing up for the rights of those who had no one to advocate for them. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus addresses the plight of the widows and women. In today’s passage, by addressing divorce without first discussing marriage, Jesus once again champions for the voiceless.
Like I said earlier, his message about marriage is via a comment on divorce and more importantly about the commitment the man makes to his wife. Another marking and note for our journal through Advent.
Let us pray from the 16th hour of the prayer of St. Nersess Shnorali, O my God, who opens Your hand and fills all things living with Your bounty, to You I commit my soul, do care for me and provide for the needs of my body and soul forever. Have mercy upon Your creatures and on me, a sinner. Amen.
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