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Gospel reflection

October 7, 2018: Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading: Mark 10:2-16

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
They replied, “Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

Reflection:

The last section of this passage is the easy and comfortable part for me. I can hear and see Jesus saying “Let the children come to me.” I can feel the love and encouragement in His voice. I can feel the welcome, the outpouring of affection. When I read this passage, I can see myself as a little girl with bright eyes and an unworried heart walking right up in to Jesus’ embrace. What a terrific feeling!

I tried to leave my reflections on this passage to the part that made me feel good. I really did. And then I had to be honest with myself. I wonder if the first part of this passage will ever make any sense to me. I know that I am influenced by the fact that it is so often used to support a narrow viewpoint that doesn’t allow many persons whom I care about to feel understood, loved, accepted and included. Surely, Jesus did not have this in mind for any of us.

Action:

Spend time this week with someone who fully affirms, loves and cherishes you. Let yourself feel how good it is to be loved.

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Alice Shelton

Providence Associate Alice Shelton lives in Indianapolis with her husband John. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and enjoys her work as director of business services at Marian University.

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