Gospel Reflection: Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute



OCTOBER 4, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia.

If we love one another, God remains in us

And His love is brought to perfection in us.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint 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.

The Gospel of the Lord



We have just finished a glorious week of the gathering of families from all around the world – the World Meeting of Families!   I am sure almost all of us were either at the assemblies or watched closely on television the Holy Father, Pope Francis as he tirelessly stressed the importance of marriage, family life and the gift of children.  All of us were encouraged and pushed to recognize anew the value of marriage and family life that too often is taken for granted.   All of us are physically and spiritually members of a family at home and in the Church!  Marriage and Family life are the bed rock of society, culture and the Church, the family of families.

How could any of us read and reflect on this Gospel without fully recognizing the conviction of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father regarding the sanctity and holiness of marriage between a man and a woman.   Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a husband and a wife that reflects and makes tangible the Covenant between God, Christ Jesus and His bride, the People of God!

Sure marriage is risky business; it is a challenge unlike any other; and it is a blessing that is fruitful for the couple and the community that enjoys their friendship.  Marriage requires faith in God that all things are possible — even a union of two becoming one physically and spiritually for now and until death.   There is no stronger tangible sign that God has hope in the human community than His confidence that beginning with the family all can live as brothers and sisters committed to life and love!

In the bond of marriage God teaches us that the two who were created in the beginning were joined together so that not only their individuality would reflect the image of God but that their unity as husband and wife would even more reflect the communion in life and love of our Triune God.  Through good times and bad, in sickness and in health our God is ever faithful to us; in the same manner of life, a couple mirrors for us God who is ever faithful.

Like the Triune God who is all love and life, the man and woman in marriage is called to be fruitful in love and life for themselves, their children, if God blesses them so, and the larger community within which they live.  That is why this lesson of the true nature of marriage is complemented by Jesus bringing a child into their midst.  Like the people who offered their children to Pope Francis at every turn for his blessing, the people of Jesus’ day brought their little ones to be blessed and affirmed.  The child is indeed a blessing from God; the child indeed mirrors the dignity of all life; the child indeed is the model of discipleship – total trust and confidence in God the Father.  It is no wonder that the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux believed deeply that if she remained like a little child she would always have access to the Father’s lap of grace and mercy!

May all couples, children and families continue to experience: He embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.



Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com


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