27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Genesis 2:18-24 II:
2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it
lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"
4 They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of
divorce, and to put her away."
5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote
you this commandment.
6 But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and
7 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and
be joined to his wife,
8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer
two but one flesh.
9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this
11 And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries
another, commits adultery against her;
12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she
13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch
them; and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them,
"Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to
such belongs the kingdom of God.
15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of
God like a child shall not enter it."
16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his
hands upon them.
- (v.4) Jesus explains the intention of the law on divorce. Accepting that
divorce was a common custom, Moses' law sought to protect the wife from
abuse. The 'certificate of dismissal' was a public proof that the wife
was free from obligations to her husband, and could remarry.
- (vv.6-9) Jesus goes beyond Moses and uses the Genesis passage "in the
beginning of creation" to explain God's original intention. In
creating male and female, God intended marriage to be for one man and
one woman, an indissoluble union ("the two become one body"). This
union is also unbreakable because God is the author (v. 9). In these
few verses, Jesus challenges spouses to live faithfully and united
- (v.11) In Jewish law, a man could only commit adultery against another
man, i.e., if he has relations with the other man's wife. He could not
commit adultery against his own wife. Jesus, revolutionary for his
times, is explicit that a sin is committed "against her" when a man
divorces his wife. He elevates the woman to the real equality of the
- (vv.13-14) Mark describes a lively scene here. Children are brought to
Jesus, "to have him touch them," an act of blessing. The disciples
argue against this, probably reflecting the ancient view of children as
unimportant. Jesus, in turn, rebuffs his disciples. This passage
points out how the disciples continue to misunderstand Jesus.
- (vv.14-15) In asking us to receive his teaching like a child, Jesus invites
us to look within and realize our own human helplessness. Like a
child, we must recognize our lack of power, and thus with open hearts,
receive God's teachings as a gift. Children accept the gift of the
kingdom in a way adults do not--they receive with total trust.
One Main Point
God, who is Love, defines for us--created in His image--what love is.
It is the giving up of one's self, as in a marriage, "so they are no
longer two but one body." It is the trust and hope present in every
- What teachings of Christ am I struggling with right now? Can I trust
Him enough to follow His way, even if , currently, I lack
- Reflecting on my childhood, how happily dependent I was on my
parents, and how I eagerly awaited their gifts, I ask God to restore
that attitude to me. So that with open heart, I trust His teachings; I
trust that they will lead me to my true and everlasting happiness.
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community