Jesus always distinguishes between the truth and human weakness, without mincing words, teaching us to respect the former and to understand the latter. This was the point on which Pope Francis, inspired by one of the Gospel passages on adultery, centered his homily during the morning Mass in Santa Marta, on May 20th.
The Gospel episode is the one about the Pharisees ("enlightened theologians," as His Holiness defined them) who put Jesus to the test by asking him whether or not it is allowed for a man to divorce his wife. The Holy Father explained this episode, before eight couples celebrating 50 years of marriage and one celebrating its 25th anniversary, saying: "They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, 'let not man put asunder what God has joined together.' Whether in the case of the Levirate, or in this case, Jesus answers with overwhelming, blunt truth—this is the truth!—with all its fullness! Jesus never negotiates the truth. Now, this small group of enlightened theologians is always ready to negotiate the truth, by reducing it to casuistry. But Jesus does not negotiate the truth. And this is the truth about marriage, there is no other." However, the Pope went on to consider the other side of the Lord's style, which is so evident in this passage of the Gospel: understanding. In fact, "Jesus is so merciful, so great, that he never ever closes the door to sinners." This is why he does not limit himself to stating God's truth, but rather asks the Pharisees the question about what Moses has established in the law. And when the Pharisees insist that Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce, the Lord replied that this was permitted because of the hardness of their hearts—that is out of understanding for human frailty.