Reflections on Scripture Twenty-seventh Sunday Gospel B

By 10:19 AM

Twenty-seventh Sunday Ordinary Gospel Reflections B

The Pharisees approached and asked Jesus, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him.  

· They were testing him to show that he was not a true Rabbi in the understanding of the Pharisees about what is lawful and what was not.

He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?" 

· Knowing that they were trying to find fault with his teachings, Jesus poses a question to their question. Why? To get them to state their position first, then he would give his position, so that the people could judge the truth.

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. 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." 

· What did Jesus do? He showed that they claim to based their teachings on the Word of God, in fact, they had based their teachings on the interpretation of the Word rather than the Word itself.

· Where do we do the same in our lives?

· What is the central statement of Jesus’ teaching upon which our understanding of the sacredness of marriage hinges?  The fact that if a marriage is sealed before God in reality, then it is forever. But if in fact a marriage was not sealed before God then there is no bond before God.

In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. 

· Remember the disciples are not learned like the Pharisees and therefore they too accepted the interpretation of the Pharisees and others.

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." 

· Divorce is not the issue but a marriage with another person after a divorce in which the marriage is sealed sacramentally before God.

· Again, what is the underlying assumption? There is a marriage in fact before God. If there is, then Jesus says that no other marriage can be recognize before God unless death of the former partner has occurred.

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. 

· How does this reflection of Jesus on the role of children connect with Jesus’ teaching on the sacredness of marriage? 

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