Sunday Readings and Reflections

West, Benjamin; Christ blessing Little Children (1738 – 1820)

Sunday, October 3 
Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Roman Ordinary calendar

St. Mother Théodore Guérin (1798-1856)

Book of Genesis 2,18-24.

The LORD God said:  “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” 
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. 
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. When he brought her to the man, 
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. 

Psalms 128(127),1-2.3.4-5.6.

Blessed are you who fear the LORD, 
who walk in his ways! 
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; 
blessed shall you be, and favored. 

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine 
in the recesses of your home; 
Your children like olive plants 
around your table. 

Behold, thus is the man blessed 
who fears the LORD. 
The LORD bless you from Zion: 
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem 

all the days of your life. 
May you see your children’s children. 
Peace be upon Israel! 

Letter to the Hebrews 2,9-11.

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. 
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. 
He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers,” 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 10,2-16.

The Pharisees approached 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 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.” 
In the house the disciples again questioned him 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.

Reflection by Fr John Bartunek:

Christ the Teacher

At the time of Christ, the Jewish world had all but destroyed the institution of marriage. Convenient interpretations of the Mosaic precept that a man could divorce his wife if he found an “indecency” in her that had destabilized marriage – to the point where many women simply avoided marriage (women had a much harder time divorcing their husbands than men did their wives). A man could put away his wife if she cooked a tasteless meal, if she raised her voice, if he met someone whom he found more attractive…. Some voices could be heard objecting to such heinous practices, which were ultimately based on the view that a wife was closer to a piece of property than a person. So the Pharisees posed this question to Christ hoping to embroil him in the irresolvable controversy, thereby discrediting him. Once again, Jesus meets his challengers head-on, and teaches them (and us) an invaluable lesson in the process:

  • First, he puts the Mosaic law of divorce in its proper perspective. Many scholars agree that Moses had defined the parameters for divorce in order to protect the institution of marriage from total degeneration. In other words, his people were already debasing the marriage bond in myriad ways, and his decree was the first step to regulating and recovering the primeval dignity of marriage – it was limiting abuses by setting parameters, not by giving in to the desire for fluidity.
  • Second, Jesus – who has come to reestablish the communion between man and God that original sin had wrecked – reaffirms and reestablishes God’s original design for marriage: a permanent and exclusive union of a man and woman who share equally in the dignity of being created in God’s image. Jesus’ vision of human love and the beauty of the family had not been blurred by the prevailing clouds of selfishness, lust, and sexism. In his Kingdom, he will settle for nothing less than the pristine brilliance of selfless love, and to enable his subjects to live out such a high calling, he even elevated the natural institution of marriage to the supernatural level of a sacrament. With the help of his grace, his followers can brave every storm and gradually grow into the fullness of spousal love.

Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday

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