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Scripture Reflections - Oct. 7
Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Genesis 2:18-24
Hebres 2: 9-11
Mark 10:2-18

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

On this Respect Life Sunday, the readings are so appropriate, since they show us the reason why God made marriage, the source of new life.

In the Book of Genesis, we find that, after creating this beautiful world and allowing Adam to name all the creatures, God decided that it was not good for a man to be alone. He needed a helpmate that would be his equal, so God created woman. Far from being an afterthought, woman became the crown jewel of all creation.

God established marriage as a union of a man and woman in one flesh, to love and support each other as equals in fidelity and faith. New life that comes from such a union can flourish in every way. It can be protected and cherished, educated through the example of loving parents, and formed in the knowledge and love of its Creator.

In the second reading from the Book of Hebrews, the Christian nature of marriage is spelled out. We find that, after God made a suitable partner for the man, the two of them are meant to mirror in their lives the teaching of Jesus through mutual and sacrificing love.

In the Gospel, Jesus is under attack from the Pharisees who try to trap Him by asking if it were licit for a man to divorce his wife.

When the religious leaders quote Moses as allowing divorce, Jesus tells them God allowed it then “because of the hardness of your hearts.” He insists that it was not so from the beginning, and quotes what we have just read in the first reading, “…what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

Why then, we must ask, has the Catholic Church always allowed annulments from certain unions? Always true to the teaching of Scripture and of their founder, Jesus Christ, the Church examines whether God intended this union or not. Was each a suitable partner to the other, capable and willing to live the marriage in sacrificing love, building a true community of life?

Pope Francis has recently simplified the annulment process without in any way weakening the teaching of the Church on the nature of marriage.

October is also the Month of the Most Holy Rosary. Pray it daily that Mary will strengthen respect of all life, especially for the elderly, the handicapped, and those precious persons not yet unborn.

We all have the rights and dignity of being children of God.

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