27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 7th October, 2018

Liturgical Reflection

 
Mark 10:2-16

 

The Gospel reading for the 27th Sunday of Year B is not an easy one. When Jesus asked his followers what Moses had taught about divorce, their answer was not nearly as challenging as what Jesus went on to teach and that his disciples found so hard to accept. Now, if the teaching was countercultural then, what are we to think about its counter culturalism today?

I’d like to quote a few lines from an article by Michael Kirby in last Monday’s SMH.  I quote:

“The essential message of all religions is love for one another. That is why I welcomed Mr Morrison’s identification with that message as a badge of his political program. But the jury is still out on whether he really does ‘love’ LGBTIQ citizens.” End of quote.

Jesus faced similar dilemmas.

The only illustration in the article was a picture of rosary beads, so I had hopes of finding some grist for the mill of my preaching endeavour! But there was no reference to anything Catholic, let alone the rosary. Nevertheless, I feel entitled to end on a positive note for The Feast of the Holy Rosary, by going off on my own tangent, to give women their place in the sun.

Who can remain unmoved by Jesus’ compassionate attitude to the woman caught in adultery? Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Nobody did. Certainly, Jesus urged the trembling woman, “Go now and sin no more.” (Jn 8:1-11)

Likewise, in his long talk with the woman at the well, who had had four husbands and was in a fifth non-marital relationship, Jesus showed respect. There was no urging not to sin, but it was plainly a conversion moment! (cf. John 4)

 

Getting back to today’s Gospel: the disciples turned away the people bringing their children for Jesus to touch. Jesus was indignant: “Let the children come to me… for it is too such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Mk 10:16)

You will all have noticed the antiphon to the psalm in today’s readings. Let us conclude by singing the whole antiphon as we know it.

We might remember, not only the families for whom a happy dwelling place and peaceful relationships are a reality, but also those whose homes are overshadowed by domestic violence and abuse, and the families destroyed and scattered by war, famine, fire and flood, those for whom gathering happily around a family table seems an impossible dream. (v. Holyhead p.167)

On them and on all children, we pray peace:

       Ps 127
       May the Lord bless them
       all the days of their lives;
       bless them lovingly
       all the days of their lives.

Sr Helen Ryan OP