The first reading gives us excellent advise about finding a true friend, and about hanging on to him. What it says about friendship would also be true about finding, and hanging on to, one’s life companion in marriage. One cannot go on forever looking for the perfect mate, because if one should eventually find such a person, one might not have enough to offer that perfect person.
The Gospel is about marriage, and sadly, it is also about divorce. When two people have truly become one in marriage the notion of divorce is as unthinkable as the prospect of cutting one live person down the middle to make two.
After Jesus said that a man may not divorce a wife, the Pharisees said that if that were so how could Moses have allowed it.
Jesus answered that Moses made the exception because of the hardness of some people’s hearts. Now, since Jesus, in the case of people with hard hearts, allowed for an exception, we cannot say that there is no exception to the rule against divorce.
In our marriage ceremony the priest asks, “Have you come here freely, without exception to give yourselves to each other in marriage?” The man and woman usually say they do meet those requirements; but in fact it is sometimes the case that one or both of them are not truly free, or self-giving, or committed to a true marriage. If there is such a lack, then the marriage will not have taken place, and an annulment could be in order.