for Sunday, October 7, 2018
Marriage! The readings today speak to us about the creation of man and woman and their union with one another in marriage. Today it is so difficult to speak about marriage because our culture is against the Christian idea of marriage. We have to be able to speak clearly and yet not condemn anyone.
The first reading today is from the Book of Genesis and speaks of the creation of woman. It is important to hear this teaching as it was meant and not to listen to it only with the interpretations of our time. The author wants us to know that men and women come from the same creation, that there is a close relationship between men and women and that God creates both man and woman. Woman is not inferior to man because of this account of the creation of woman. No, the intent is to show that they are both from God
The second reading is from the Letter to the Hebrews. The phrase that can link this second reading with the two other readings is this: "He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin." This reaffirms the teaching that we are all from God, that men and woman are equal even though not the same. In the Letter to the Hebrews the point is that by being one in Christ, we are all saved. From the point of view of marriage, the point is that men and woman are both created by God and can live a Sacrament together because they are both of God and marry to live out that relationship in God.
The Gospel is from Saint Mark. The main point that Jesus wants us to understand is that divorce is not acceptable in the plan of God. It is important that we recognize again that Jesus is arguing against a culture where divorce was easy and not challenged. This is very similar to much of modern culture. Divorce is widely accepted everyone to that point that many are suggesting that there should not even be marriage. Just let people form relationships with anyone else and stay together until it no longer works!
For Jesus, marriage is clearly a gift from God. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage is also about having children. Marriage is a celebration of creation and of God's love. In much of our modern culture, people no longer believe in God. People believe that marriage is just any two people making a commitment to one another. Many today do not want to have children in a marriage because it complicates the marriage. Finally, marriage is seen as something only on the human level and is not seen as a sacrament.
We Catholics have an enormous evangelization to do in our modern world. Even simply to state the truth about how our Holy Scriptures and our Catholic tradition see marriage is highly offensive to many people. Our challenge is first to live the teachings of Jesus and the Church and then to speak fearlessly about God's plan for marriage and children. We could even become martyrs for stating clearly the traditional teachings. Let us walk with the Lord.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Genesis 2.7ab, 15, 18-24
Second Reading: Hebrews 2.9-11
Gospel: Mark 10.2-16
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: