Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary TimeB
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary TimeB

Sunday of the 27 OTB

Readings: Gen 2:18-24; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16.

1/ First Reading: NAB Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." 19 So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. 21 So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, 23 the man said: "This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

2/ Second Reading: NAB Hebrews 2:9 but we do see Jesus "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death, he who "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels," that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them "brothers."

3/ Gospel: NAB Mark 10:2 The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him. 3 He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?" 4 They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her." 5 But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. 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 Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate." 10 In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. 11 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 commits adultery." 13 And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 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. 15 Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." 16 Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.



I. THEME: God’s ideal and human weakness

            When God commands people to do something, people have abilty to do that thing because He shall not command people to do something which they can’t do it. There are many reasons why people don’t do His command. First, people like to do what they want because it pleases them. Secondly, people are lazy, afraid of difficulty, suffering or death. Lastly, they don’t make use of the supernatural gifts which God gives to them through the sacraments.

            Today readings center on the loyalty in the marital vocation which many think that it is impossible to keep. In the first reading, the author of Genesis affirmed that the marital vocation is in God’s plan for human beings right from the beginning. God doesn’t want them to be lonely, but he wants them to have a companion. To do this, God took a rib from the man and filled it with flesh to form the woman. He led the woman to the man, and the man said to her, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken.” They are the first couple, and from that time on, “that is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” In the second reading, the author of Hebrews wanted to emphasize that Christ’s grace can help people to do what God’s command. Through Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection, people are forgiven and sanctified by the sacraments established by Christ. People must use graces from these sacraments in order to be able to live according to God’s laws and Christ’s teachings. In the Gospel according to Mark, when some Pharisees came and asked Jesus that if people can divorce each other, Jesus, though he knew that Moses permitted them to divorce, still confirmed God’s will from the beginning, “What God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The covenant of marriage is in God’s will from the beginning.

           

1.1/ God’s will for human beings: This is the second account on God’s creation of human beings according to J tradition in which the author paid a special attention on the union between a man and a woman in the familial vocation. Several things which we need to pay attention to:

            - God doesn’t want people to live by themselves: This is God’s will, not a human will. The first man didn’t complain with God that he doesn’t have a woman. God himself recognized the fact that it isn’t good for a man to live by himself. God wanted to find a “suitable partner for him.”

            -The word “partner” (bôêthos in LXX, and hêzer in MT) caused many arguments. Some said that the woman is only “an assistant” for the man; therefore, women can never be equal to men.” This explanation has no foundation because in the New Testament, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also called “the Helpers.” They must have more power than men in order to help them.

            - The difficulty isn’t on the using of the word “partner or companion,” but at the translation of the following preposition (kenegdô in Hebrews and kat' auton in Greek). The NAB version translated as “for him;” while the RSV version translated as “fit for him.” The RSV is rendered better; but “suitable or fit;” but in what way? Physically, intellectually or spiritually?

           

1.2/ God made a suitable partner for the man:

            - First, God tried with animals: The author reported, “So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.” The animals, though have many similar traits as men, such as: beautiful, meek, likable, loyal, etc; but can’t be compared with human beings. This shows that “dog is not a man’s best friend” as someone wants to say! The naming, according to Jewish tradition, indicates the naming’s authority over the named.

            - God tried with a woman: The author continued, “So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man.”

            - The reaction of the man: Seeing the woman, the man acclaimed, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken." The Hebrew noun for man is “ish” and for woman is “ishah.” These two nouns show the relationship between them. The author concluded: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”

2/ Reading II: Jesus went through sufferings to lead human beings to salvation.

           

2.1/ Christ went through his Passion and Death to take away people’s sins: The author of Hebrews said, “Jesus "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death, he who "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels," that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

            For people to attain salvation, first of all, Jesus must take away their sins and punishments. He did this by willingly accepted sufferings through his Passion and Death. When people’s sins are taken away, they are reconciled with God.

           

2.2/ Not only Christ forgives sins, he also sanctifies human beings: The author confirmed this aspect when he said, “He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them "brothers."” By the Incarnation, Jesus became a man; that is why the author said Jesus has the same origin as men and willingly calls all his brothers.

            Although Jesus redeemed people’s sins and the salvation belongs to human beings; but they still have to demonstrate to God their faith in Christ by a life of witness; for example, to be loyal in their familial, priestly or religious vocation. In order to help them to do this, Jesus established the seven sacraments.

            Many people forget or don’t know the importance of the sacraments in their life, especially these two sacraments: The sacrament of the Eucharist gives strength so people can overcome temptations, difficulties and trials in their life; the sacrament of Reconciliation helps people to recognize their sins against God and others; at the same time, it helps people to understand, to forgive and to solve conflicts in the familial life.

3/ Gospel: Divorce and having children

           

3.1/ Human weakness: There were some Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him.

            (1) Moses’ law: Jesus asked them, "What did Moses command you?"They replied, "Moses permitted him 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.”

            (2) Why did the Church permit divorce if it is God’s law? We need to differentiate between God’s ideal and human weakness. First, the ideal which God wants people to follow. This ideal is never changed and the reality showed many people reached this ideal. Many couples were loyal to the end though they went through many sufferings. Secondly, weaknesses and sins prevent people to reach God’s ideal. When people don’t reach this ideal, it isn’t mean that God’s ideal is impossible to reach or God’s law is wrong; bur people must humbly confess that it is their weaknesses and sins. The Church permits divorce due to human sins, weaknesses and hardness. There are many reasons to dissolve a marriage; in general, these reasons are due to ignorance of the sacrament of Matrimony, such as:

            - Parents force their children to marry those they don’t want; it can be due to their desire of power, position or material gains. In these cases, their children lack freedom to marry.

            - People irresponsibly married: The majority of the Church’s dissolving of marriage is the “lack of form” which means the couple married not according to the Church’s law, therefore, it isn’t legal. For examples, married in order to go to a foreign country, to acquire money, etc.

            - People didn’t spend time to know each other before married. For examples: married the one who already married, who had problems to live a marital vocation or who doesn’t have the same religion.

            Many couples end up in divorce because they don’t live their faith or receive grace from the sacraments; without faith and grace, there is no way they can overcome obstacles in their life. Even in the case of being forced to divorce, God’s grace can help them to overcome lonely and fleshy desires.

           

3.2/ The problem of having children: Mark reported, “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.”

            Two purposes of a marriage are to share their love with each other and to have children. Many couples want to have the first and ignore the second. They don’t want to have any or just two or three children. The following are some of their reasons.

            (1) They are afraid to be burdened by children: This was the reason that the disciples prevented them to come to Jesus. The adults are afraid of taking care of children; they don’t want them to disturb their peace, their sleep, etc.

            (2) They are afraid of caring for children: Children can’t take care of themselves, but completely depend on their parents. Many couples are afraid that if they spend their time to care for children, they shall have no time to care for themselves.

            (3) Besides, there are many fallacious arguments against having children, such as: overpopulation; have no financial means to care for them; if the parents can’t educate them, it is better for them not to be born, etc.

            Besides these reasons are individualism and selfishness. They are afraid that if they spend time to care for children, they shall have no time to care for themselves, to travel or to enjoy life.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                   

            - When God commands us to do something, we have ability to do that thing. We need to believe and to obey what He teaches; to practice a life of virtue and to use necessary grace through the sacraments.

            - We need to learn to know how to receive the sacraments and its grace; especially to frequently receive those sacraments which we can receive many times.

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