4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
This Sunday’s second reading contains what could be construed as a controversial statement from St. Paul about marriage. The reading is from 1 Cor 7:32-35, in which Paul writes:
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
It seems like St. Paul is saying it is more pleasing to God for people to remain single than to get married. Indeed, you’ll find many who argue for the Church’s tradition of celibate clergy and consecrated religious referencing this passage. An unmarried man or woman is in many ways less encumbered by worldly concerns and more free to devote their life to doing the Lord’s work.
But does this mean marriage is bad, or that married people are not capable of holiness? Hardly.