The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Mark 10:2-16
Jesus’ teaching on marriage, and the inadmissability of divorce may be a joyful message to those who receive from God the wonderful gift of marital union but a source of anguish for those whose attempt at marriage has failed. In ‘Amoris Laetitia’, Pope Francis invites Christian families “to be a sign of mercy and closeness wherever family life remains imperfect or lacks peace and joy”. He offers “an invitation to mercy and the pastoral discernment of those situations that fall short of what the Lord demands of us” (#5-6). Mercy is the love which all of us need to experience, regardless of our life-history or track record.
The teaching on marriage and adultery needs to be read alongside Jesus’ reminder that the child, and the child’s receptiveness to love, is the ‘key’ to the Kingdom of God. The passage is less about the regulations for ordering relationships, and more of a glimpse or vision of God’s loving plan for his children. And this plan remains ‘good news’ for everyone, not just the fortunate ones.
The unity and love of a happy marriage is a gift from God. Unfortunately, however, many married people, for various reasons, have been unable to live this gift fully.
We can pray today for all married couples. May the compassion of Christ touch all those who are experiencing or have experienced a difficult marriage.
Think on these things… God’s original plan for marriage was that of a man and woman ‘become one flesh’. This teaching is a call to each one of us to live out our own vocation in life as wholeheartedly as possible, allowing that because of human weakness the ideal is not always totally achievable.
The ‘little children’ represent those who are among the most weak and vulnerable in society, without power or status. They act spontaneously by ‘receiving’. Am I receptive to the kingdom, since it comes to me as free gift from God’s bountiful hands?