SUNDAY, TWENTY SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Gen 2: 18-24; Ps 128: 1-6; Heb 2: 9-11; Mk 10: 2-16
LOVING THE PERSON YOU MARRIED
Human life is a divine gift and through it, we share in the creative work of God. God created us with pure love, which entails doing good without expecting any return. So it is in marriage – husband is for the wife and wife is for the husband. One lives for the growth, joy and contentment of the other. In it, the covenant between God and man is truly expressed. This is the primary end of a marriage.
The reading of today, from the book of Genesis, presents to us the love of God towards man by creating a perfect helper for him. God created living things for man and gave him authority over them. But God didn’t find a suitable companion for the man. Therefore, God creates a woman out of man so that they are no more two but one. God created her out of the rib of man so that they would remain united in flesh and with each other in every sense. Man and woman become more authentic human beings when they are in communion with each other.
The second reading from the letter to the Hebrews reflects on Jesus, the one who was crowned with glory and splendour, for he hung upon the cross for us. He made himself lower than the angels to bring us his brothers and sisters into glory with Him. Thus he becomes the founder of salvation to all of us, through his suffering, death and resurrection.
Today’s Gospel passage also speaks about the purpose of God’s creating of man and woman. The passage begins with the question posed by the Pharisees to Jesus on Marriage. The Jewish law on Marriage stemmed from the ancestral view of marriage that human persons were created to be in communion with each other. Therefore, they saw marriage as sacred and permanent. However, the Jewish Law had allowed some exceptions to this teaching. Though they were knowledgeable in the laws of marriage, the Pharisees through their question try to trap Jesus, so that they could catch Jesus on the wrong footing and punish him.
Jesus understands the trap which was set by the Pharisees and He in turn replies with another question. He asks the Pharisees, what Moses teaches them about marriage and divorce. The Pharisees, respond to the question, by answering according to the law of Moses: the law did allow a man to divorce his wife. This interpretation of the law was based on the view, that considered a woman was inferior to a man and was like a property, and thus divorce was a matter resolved like any other property, through a written document like a sale deed.
Jesus, however, corrects their understanding of the law, quoting from the book of Genesis. He tells them that man and woman were created equally, and in marriage, have the same duties towards each other. In marriage, the two become one flesh or one body. “So then, what therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” These words of Jesus were unclear to the knowledgeable Pharisees.
In our present situation, many see the bond of marriage, as a mere sexual relationship, an economic or social contract or an agreement between two compatible beings. However, Christian marriage is a covenant between three persons: God, a man and a woman. In marriage, every man promises a woman, and every woman promises a man that only God alone can give, namely, perfect love and happiness. It is not important that you marry the one you love, but love the one you marry. To experience this love and happiness is to be united in one flesh and to be close to God.
As life goes on, they become not two compatible beings who have learned to live together through self-suppression and patience, but one new and richer being, fused in the fires of God’s love and tempered of the best of both. One by one, the veils of life’s mysteries have been lifted. They see in each other God’s love. The hidden mysteries of God in their personality are revealed. As they partake in God’s creation, His parenthood and his family of Love, seen through the lives of their children, as they mature into children of God.
Response: May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
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