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What did Jesus teach about marriage?

Marriage_new_altJesus brought to full awareness the divine plan for marriage. In John’s Gospel, Christ’s first miracle occurs at the wedding in Cana. “The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence” (CCC, no. 1613).

Jesus unequivocally taught the indissolubility of marriage:

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. (Mt 19:3-6)

St. Paul reinforces Christ’s teaching on marriage. “A wife should not separate from her husband and a husband should not divorce his wife” (1 Cor 7:10-11). In the Letter to the Ephesians, we read, “‘For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother / and be joined to his wife, / and the two shall become one flesh.’ / This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church” (Eph 5:31-32). Thus the love of husband and wife reflects the love between Christ and the Church. By Christ’s will, Marriage is one of the Seven Sacraments.

You can read more from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, order your own copy, or read questions about it at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

Copyright © 2006, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.