for Sunday, October 7, 2012
Marriage is surely one of the most misunderstood realities of our
present age. We who are people of the Book, the Sacred Scriptures,
have a clear teaching about marriage and about the relationships that
lead to a profound and wonderful life with God. Right from the
beginning, the teaching is clear that marriage is between one man and
The Book of Genesis has more than one story about creation and about
man and woman in creation. All the stories agree that marriage is
between one man and one woman. The whole of the Old Testament echoes
this teaching. On the other hand, polygamy came to be accepted
Today's Gospel passage, from the Gospel of Mark, tells us that the
human heart had become hard and people would not accept the teaching.
This hardness of the human heart is taught throughout all of
Scripture. We humans want to do our will and not the will of the God
who creates us. We should not be surprised that it is still the same
We can reflect for a moment on the clear teaching of Jesus given to us
in this Gospel. The people at the time of Jesus accepted polygamy, a
man having more than one wife. Jesus is not afraid to teach against
the practice. Today Jesus would not be afraid to continue preaching
that marriage is between one man and one woman. We are less bold than
To be bold in our proclamation of the Gospel does not mean that we
must be harsh to others. Think of Jesus with the Samaritan woman. He
does not condemn her but invites her to live the Gospel. Think of
Jesus with the woman taken in adultery. Again, no condemnation but an
invitation to a life of virtue. We need to be aware of how Jesus
proclaims the teachings of His Father. Always the proclamation is one
of love and acceptance, even as it challenges to true conversion.
The reading from the Letter to the Hebrew affirms that we are brothers
and sisters of the Lord. We want to live as our Brother lived,
proclaiming the Gospel with love, compassion and acceptance. We never
need condemn anyone, even as we proclaim that there is a right way and
a wrong way to live.
The teaching of Jesus is clear: love one another as He has loved us.
This teaching is also clear: there are ways of living that do not
conform to the plan of God. This Sunday let us rejoice in the
Sacrament of Marriage and ask that it be strengthened in our own time.
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: