Scripture Reflection – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 4th October 2015
October 4, 2015 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Lectionary: 140
Reading 1 – Genesis 2: 18-24
The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep,
he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib
that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman, ‘
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 128: 1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
- May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
- May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
- May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
May you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
- May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Reading 2 – Hebrews 2: 9-11
Brothers and sisters:
He “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels, “
that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting that he,
for whom and through whom all things exist,
in bringing many children to glory,
should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.
He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated
all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them ‘brothers.’
Gospel – Mark 10: 2-16
The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?”
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
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.”
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”
And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me;
do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.
Listen to the Scriptures: Click on the link below:
27th Sunday of the Year – B
THE GOOD MARRIAGE. Marriage is the natural state for most people, but it takes more than nature to make it work. A good marriage is the union of two incompatible persons who live happily together through a constant effort of love.
Introduction: Marriage is the natural condition in which most people live. It is natural because it corresponds to the natural division of humanity into male and female, and because it is the means nature has established to perpetuate the human race. But to say that it is natural does not mean it is automatically successful. In the mating of the lower species, in the animal world, there is pure physical nature. Nothing interferes with the play of instinct. In some higher mammals and many birds, this results in a touchingly faithful mating for life. But man and woman live in a world that is above physical nature: they have received intelligence as a gift from God, and, together with it, a sense of good and evil and the freedom of choice.
Point 1: There must be intelligence in marriage. This means that the young man and woman should enter marriage in a state of mental and emotional preparedness. They should fully know what they are doing, the responsibilities they are assuming, and the pains and joys they are about to experience. This is much more than “falling in love,” for it implies much more than mere physical and emotional attraction. Also, the young Christian couple should be aware that they are participating directly in God’s plan, for they are called upon to give birth to future saints (sons or daughters of the Lord). Intelligence in marriage implies also the full realization of each partner’s independent value as a person. The ideal is not a total fusion of personalities, but a consenting union of individuals.
Point 2: There must be freedom in marriage. This is so important that any lack of freedom; any compulsion or undue influence upon the choice of a partner is a cause of annulment. If there is no freedom, there is no marriage. But freedom applies to more than the choice of a partner: it must continue within the relationship itself. The old-fashioned notion that the husband “owned” his wife as chattel is an abomination, and it is still with us. You may have heard the story of the traveler in South America, who came across Pedro proudly riding his mule, while his wife trotted behind him. “Pedro,” asked the traveler, “why is your wife on foot?” “She doesn’t have a mule,” replied the self-righteous man.
Point 3: There must be a choice of moral good in marriage. In the daily encounter of husband and wife, there are hundreds of instances, every day, when a decision has to be made in matters large or small. Shall he talk to his wife at breakfast, or hide behind silence? Will she give him a warm send-off, or let him sneak out unkissed? Will he bother her with shoptalk (from his job), or try to find out what interests her? Will they get mad at each other at every opportunity, imaginary or real, or forgive in advance and try to understand? A successful marriage is based on thousands of such choices properly made. Marriage is a naturally unstable condition, like riding a bicycle: you need to make constant adjustments in order not to fall.
Conclusion: No two marriage partners are completely compatible. A successful marriage, then, is the union of two incompatible people who live happily together through a constant effort of love.
QUESTIONS THAT MAY LEAD TO OTHER THOUGHTS / DISCUSSION / REFLECTION / WRITTEN
- When was the last time you did something spontaneously and gratuitously nice for those with whom you live?
- Do you mull over grievances, nourish bitterness or brush them off? Can you forgive and forget – even when you are completely right?
- Do you think that most married couples and families pray together often?
- What parallels or similarities do you see between marriage and religious community life?
Why is it that Jesus keeps on placing before his disciples and us little children? What is it about them that Jesus wants us to imitate?
“Of such,” said Jesus “is the Kingdom of God.” What is it about the child that Jesus liked and valued so much?
- There is the child’s humility. There is the child who is an exhibitionist, but such a child is rare and almost always the product of misguided adult treatment. Ordinarily the child is embarrassed by prominence and publicity. He has not yet learned to think in terms of place and pride and prestige. He has not yet learned to discover the importance of himself.
- There is the child’s obedience. True, a child is often disobedient, but, paradox though it may seem, his natural instinct is to obey. He has not yet learned the pride and the false independence which separate a man from his fellow-men and from God.
- There is the child’s trust. That is seen in two things.
- It is seen in the child’s acceptance of authority. There is a time when he thinks his father or mother knows everything and that his father/mother is always right. To our shame, he soon grows out of that. But instinctively the child realizes his own ignorance and his own helplessness and trusts the one who, as he thinks, knows.
- It is seen in the child’s confidence in other people. He does not expect any person to be bad. He will make friends with a perfect stranger. A great man once said that the greatest compliment ever paid him was when a little boy came up to him, a complete stranger, and asked him to tie his shoelace. The child has not yet learned to suspect the world. He still believes the best about others. Sometimes that very trust leads him into danger for there are those who are totally unworthy of it and who abuse it, but that trust is a lovely thing.
- The child has a short memory. He has not yet learned to bear grudges and nourish bitterness. Even when he is unjustly treated–and who among us is not sometimes unjust to his family, friends?–he forgets, and forgets so completely that he does not even need to forgive.
Are you still childlike? In what ways are you still like those to whom the kingdom of God belongs?
Ponder This: What is God’s intention for our state in life, whether married or single? Jesus deals with the issue of divorce by taking his hearers back to the beginning of creation and to God’s plan for the human race. In Genesis 2:23-24 we see God’s intention and ideal that two people who marry should become so indissolubly one that they are one flesh. That ideal is found in the unbreakable union of Adam and Eve. They were created for each other and for no one else. They are the pattern and symbol for all who were to come. Jesus explains that Moses permitted divorce as a concession in view of a lost ideal. Jesus sets the high ideal of the married state before those who are willing to accept his commands. Jesus, likewise sets the high ideal for those who freely renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:11-12). Both marriage and celibacy are calls from God to live a consecrated life, that is to live as married couples or as singles who belong not to themselves but to God. Our lives are not our own, but they belong to God. He gives the grace and power to those who seek to follow his way of holiness in their state of life. Do you seek the Lord and his grace in your state of life?
Do you seek to help others draw near to the Lord? The parents who brought their children to Jesus wanted Jesus to lay his hands upon them. They knew of the healing power, both physical and spiritual, which came from Jesus’ touch. Jesus, in turn, rebuked his disciples for hindering the children from coming. No doubt the disciples wanted to shield Jesus from the nuisance of noisy children. But Jesus delighted in the children and demonstrated that God’s love has ample room for everyone. No one is unimportant to God. He comes to each person individually that he might touch them with his healing love and power. May we never hinder our youth from coming to the Lord to receive his blessing and healing power. And as we grow with age, may we never lose that child-like simplicity and humility which draws us into Christ’s loving presence. Do you show kindness to the youth you encounter in your neighborhood, home, and church and do you pray for them that they may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of Jesus Christ?
“Lord Jesus Christ, your call to holiness extends to all in every state of life. Sanctify our lives — as married couples and as singles — that we may live as men and women who are consecrated to you. Make us leaven in a society that disdains life-long marriage fidelity, chastity, and living single for the Lord”.
27th Sunday In Ordinary Time – B
For the Church: that we may be a sign of communion between God and humanity and a means of cooperation between all people, let us pray to the Lord.
For the Synod on the Family: that God will inspire the Bishops and other participants with insights that will promote and strengthen family life throughout the world, let us pray to the Lord.
For the grace of fidelity: that we may each be faithful to our promises and commitments, to spouses, children, parents, communities, and friends, let us pray to the Lord.
For openness: that we may become like children who know our need for others and grow in our trust of God for all that we need, let us pray to the Lord.
For the gift of humility: that we may place ourselves at the service of others so that they may come to know God’s love and compassion for them, let us pray to the Lord.
For all married or engaged couples: that they may be united as one in the life they share, recognize Christ in each other, and bring God’s love to the world, let us pray to the Lord.
For all who promote the dignity and welfare of families, particularly those who work with engaged or newlywed couples, or with new parents: that God will lead and guide their ministry to help all see the power of love at work, let us pray to the Lord.
For all who are in lonely or troubled marriages: that they may find help and support in the Christian community and receive strength and courage to continue to work for wholeness in their relationships, let us pray to the Lord.
For a healing of the tension and conflicts between women and men in our society: that God will lead us to a new appreciation of each other and help us to witness to the fullness of God’s plan as we work together, let us pray to the Lord.
For all children: that they may be warmly welcomed into families and supported as they grow and develop into the persons God calls them to be, let us pray to the Lord.
For all who have experienced divorce: that God will heal their pain, renew their sense of self, and help them find support and understanding in our community, let us pray to the Lord.
For a respect for all that God has created: that we may serve God through good stewardship of the earth, the air and the seas, and preserve them for coming generations, let us pray to the Lord.
For all who are ill: that the Spirit of God will restore and raise up all who are ill or recovering from surgery, let us pray to the Lord.
For greater respect for human life: that all human life, from conception to natural death, may be respected as God’s gift and a blessing to each individual, let us pray to the Lord.
For all Christians who are facing persecution, particularly in Syria or Iraq: that God will give them courage and help them to faithfully witness to the Good News of Jesus, let us pray to the Lord.
For refugees: that God will guide them to places of safety, open hearts to receive them and help them enrich their new communities through the gifts that they bring, let us pray to the Lord.
For the world leaders at the United Nations: that their conversations will promote peace, develop mutual understanding, and help them confront the evils that plague society, let us pray to the Lord.
For all who are seeking employment: that God will open new avenues for them to use their gifts and fill their hearts with hope, let us pray to the Lord.
For Peace and an end to violence: that God will touch the hearts of all leaders to find nonviolent ways of resolving conflicts and disputes, let us pray to the Lord.