Twenty- Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Genesis is the source of the first reading for this weekend. Among the first five books of the Bible, Genesis reveals great facts. God is the creator of all. He gives life.
God also created humanity, in the genders of male and female. Further, it was God’s will that the two genders, united in one male and one female, complement each other and live with each other.
The Scriptures at times are accused of belittling women. Certainly, the Scriptures were all developed within varying cultural contexts. To an extent, they were influenced by these cultural contexts.
The culture surrounding the development of Genesis was not strictly Hebrew. Rather, it was enveloped by paganism. In this paganism, women were little better than animals.
Genesis, however, takes pains to declare the dignity of women as equal to that of men. This is the meaning of the story that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. Adam and Eve, man and woman, were one in their nature.
It was a revolutionary, fundamental basis for looking at both men and women. Both genders possess an equal dignity because all are created by God and infused with an eternal soul.
Finally, every person, regardless of everything else, holds the supreme dignity of being God’s own, God’s created beings, a physical, earthly sign of God.
This reading is a powerful testament to the historic Jewish and Christian concept of marriage. Ordained by God, marriage should never be defiled by exploitation, selfishness or insincerity.
For its second reading, the Church offers us a passage from the Letter to the Hebrews that also reaffirms the dignity of each human.
According to the reading, humans who love God and are faithful to God one day will rejoice in His presence. They will be with God. The key to attaining a place in God’s presence is Jesus.
Because Jesus is human as well as God, Jesus loves all people as brothers and sisters.
St. Mark’s Gospel provides the third reading. Its question centers upon the legality before God of divorce itself, not the grounds for divorce.
Often it is assumed that this question put to Jesus opened an entirely new debate, and that in replying, Jesus set aside the Law of Moses.
In fact, many debated the true meaning of the Law of Moses. By settling the question, by ending the discussion, Jesus appeared in the role of the divinely constituted and divinely empowered representative of God the Father.
He also put marriage in its proper context. Marriage is God’s creation, subject to God’s plan. Of course, it involves individual commitments and all the variables of living lives together.
It hopefully provides spouses with opportunities to be better Christians, worthy of their dignity as children of God.
In the same passage, though on another occasion, Jesus blessed the children. Like children everywhere and always, these children were innocent and vulnerable, but with great potential, not simply “to succeed” in this life but to live with God in the eternal life.
Most of the time, weddings are great events. Festivities precede the wedding itself, and they can be many and elaborate.
In 2004, Pope St. John Paul II beatified the last Austrian emperor and Hungarian king Karl I, for whom, incidentally, the pope was named.
Karl was married when he was the heir to the thrones of Austria and Hungary. Everyone was celebrating. He and his fiancée, who became the Empress Zita, interrupted their celebrating to make spiritual retreats.
They said that retreats would cause them to focus on their chief responsibilities as husband and wife, helping each other to be true disciples.
Being created by God destines every human for heaven. Spouses display the greatest love when they assist each other in reaching eternal life.
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.