1.Genesis 2:18-24
2.Hebrews 2:9-11
3.Mark 10:2-16

"Life Together"
In today's gospel, the Pharisees point out that the Mosaic law allows an Israelite man to divorce his wife. There was a verse in the book of Deuteronomy that when a man finds in his wife ' something indecent,' he writes out a bill of divorce, hands it to her and dismisses her from his house ( Dt 24:1). The challenge to this verse from the book of Deuteronomy is that what would happen is the wife finds something indecent in her husband, can she also write a bill of divorce and hand it to her husband? The Bible text in this verse is so quiet and silent, it is not stated.

However Jesus does not deny this mosaic law which recognized divorce. But instead of giving His interpretation of what 'something indecent,' He points out that it is their  "hardness of hearts." which subjected Moses to write the commandment about divorce. " Hardness of hearts," is an old testament term which indicates hardened conscience, a tendency to sin and willful disobedience to God.
However, our Lord takes a strong stand and teaches that marriage should be monogamous, permanent and indissoluble. He says this by quoting the Book of Genesis: "But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason, a man must 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 two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together no human being must separate," ( Mk10:6-9).
Jesus' teaching about the indissolubility and permanence of marriage seems out of place in our society today. Some societies accept divorce as the normal way of life. It should be clearly understood that marriage is an eternal covenant between husband and wife made before God Himself. This covenant is different from an ordinary contract that covers property and others.

On their wedding day, a couple set out on a journey, which hopefully will lead them into a deeper love and partnership with the passing years. Possibly their early love for each other has a quality of infatuation, or feeling in love and our emotions, while good and useful, are largely outside our control. True lasting love is more based on decision than emotion. While emotions cannot be controlled, the decisions can be renewed each and every day.
By borrowing the thoughts of pope Francis on marriage he said recently that, ' our church must show due regard for people who are in new unions after their marriage has broken up, for whatever reason. It is not enough just to propose and ideal of marriage based on fidelity; the problem of tense marriage relationships are not solved by a constant preaching, no matter how well meant. Conscious of this the Church has agencies to help couples to prepare for marriage, and later help them to cope with conflicts that threaten their perseverance, marriage counseling in this perspective is crucial.'

We may find out several reasons that might make marriage to fail. Possibly the parties were not emotionally mature at the time they married, not fully free in giving their marriage consent. People who never thought of the deeper, spiritual meaning of marriage, can come to feel that their marriage was an unfortunate mistake. In helping to prepare couples for marriage, trying to foster their growth in married love, and even when declaring certain marriage to be null and void, those involved must try to combine their ideal of marriage with an appreciation of love between the sexes and with understanding and compassion for those today who find difficulty in living up to the challenges of Christian marriage.

How to make marriage work and last forever? there are many ways. The following are four suggested ways: First is good communication, this communication should be both verbal and non-verbal, this is very important element in  marriage. This is because successful people owe a lot of their success to good communication. In the same manner with problems are generally persons who lack communication skills. It is said that we spend 70% of our waking hours in communication like speaking or listening, reading  or writing and 30% of this time is devoted to talking. Thus communication means 'union with' or to be united with one another. Husband and wife have to talk about things they are interested in. They also have to talk honestly about what is bothering them and not bottle it up and wait' till the bottle bursts. It is also important to talk and share their future hopes and dreams.

Second is genuine understanding. It is also very important to make sure that we understand our spouses. We have to understand each other's thoughts, moods and emotions. We all have diverse mood, thoughts and emotions. One of the jobs in marriage is to know, support and understand the intellectual and emotional make up which God has given your partner. The goal is not to make your partner conform to your thoughts, emotions and moods but to help each other handle those individual feelings in healthy and positive ways. We also have to share the important values in life, the virtues and moral principles.

Third is to handle marriage problems well. Good husbands and wives handle their problems very well together. Since we love each other, it  is very important to accept each other's faults as well as weaknesses as we wait for them to change. It is because the wife did not marry the handsomeness  of her husband but also his body odor and everything. Nagging your partner doesn't bring change, it only brings tension. A good marriage does not get just 50% from your spouse. It needs 100% from each of you. We are told that, "each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem, the greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."(Joseph Sugarman).

Fourth is with God's help, handle your marriage with care. God clearly puts his joyful approval on the marriage at the wedding ceremony in front of the altar. With God's help husband and wife always find it easier to love, to accept, to enjoy, to forgive and to trust.
Let us hear these words carefully that " Marriage may be made in heaven but the maintenance must be done on earth."

Lastly let us pray for the Synod of Bishops now taking place in Rome, that they may be open to new insights on how to care for marriage and the family today, and advise the pope on what steps the Church can and should take, to be a more welcoming place for those whose marriages have proved unsustainable, but  who wish to continue as faithful friends of Christ.

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Chapisha Maoni