Brothers and Sisters:
Sunday, the Gospel presents us Jesus' words on marriage. To the
question if it is lawful for a husband to repudiate his wife, as
established by a precept of the Mosaic law (cf. Deuteronomy 24:1),
he responded that it was a concession of Moses because of "hardness
of heart," while the truth about marriage goes back "to
the beginning of creation," when, as is written in Genesis,
God "made them male and female. For this reason a man shall
leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two
shall become one" (Mark 10:6-7; cf. Genesis 1:27; 2:24).
Jesus added: "So they are no longer two but one. What therefore
God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mark 10:8-9).
This was God's original plan, as the Second Vatican Council also
reminded in the constitution "Gaudium et Spes": "The
intimate partnership of married life and love has been established
by the Creator and qualified by his laws, and is rooted in the conjugal
covenant. ... For God himself is the author of matrimony" (No.
thought is directed to all Christian spouses: With them I thank
the Lord for the gift of the sacrament of marriage, and exhort them
to remain faithful to their vocation in each stage of life, "in
joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness," as they promised
in the sacramental rite.
Christian spouses, aware of the grace received, build a family open
to life and capable of facing together the numerous and complicated
challenges of our time. Their testimony is particularly necessary
today. Families are needed that do not let themselves be drawn by
modern cultural currents inspired by hedonism and relativism, and
that are willing to realize their mission in the Church and in society
with generous dedication.
the apostolic exhortation "Familiaris Consortio," the
Servant of God John Paul II wrote that the sacrament of marriage
"makes Christian married couples and parents witnesses of Christ
'to the end of the earth,' as authentic 'missionaries' of love and
life" (cf. No. 54). This mission is oriented both to the internal
life of the family -- especially in mutual service and in the education
of children -- as well as the external: the domestic community,
in fact, is called to be the sign of God's love to all. The family
can only fulfill this mission if it is supported by divine grace.
For this reason, it is necessary to pray tirelessly and to persevere
in the daily effort to keep the commitments assumed on the wedding
invoke the maternal protection of the Virgin and of Joseph her spouse
on all families, especially those going through difficulties. Mary,
Queen of the Family, pray for us!
the end of the Angelus, the Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages.
In English, he said:
warmly welcome the English-speaking pilgrims who are here today.
Throughout this month of October we remember in a special way Our
Blessed Lady. We ask for her prayers for our loved ones and for
ourselves. May her Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, bless
all of you during your stay in Rome.