Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 3 October 2021

To paraphrase, “It’s all about relationships.” A cursory glance at the headlines this week, emphasises this truth.

“Premier bought down by her questionable choice in lovers.” Or, “Road map raises fears.” Or, “They are sick of lockdowns and just trying to live a life that’s somewhere near normal.”

Genesis today presents the ideal. Women and men are made for genuine relationship. “They become one body.”

The Gospel tackles two disturbing realities in Israel in 30 CE. What happens to the woman, particularly when the relationship breaks down? Whatever the solution, Jesus again reminds us of the ideal. So, “What God has united etc”.

The second is a powerful reminder that children are more than a “possession” or a “chattel“. Even though they are perceived as powerless, dependant and simply receptive, they are still able to be welcomed into the Kingdom.

Jesus had a vision of a restored creation in which unity and mutuality, both within marriage and in the broader family relationships, should mirror God’s original plan. Jesus notices the intent of the Pharisees to test him. It suggests that they had a suspicion that their accepted practise in 30 CE was not really God’s position let alone that of Moses. Our generation may also be on the end of the phrase, “It was because you were so unteachable!”

We acknowledge that relationships break down, have rough patches, can at times be vicious and violent, even towards children. Rulers are often the worst offenders, as we see at the moment in many countries of the world.

And whilst we continue to proclaim that “Marriage is the only community built upon a sacrament”, let us not forget that our basic relationship is likewise built upon a sacrament, Baptism.

For the sake of the nation and the family and despite all the failures that occur, we must continue to proclaim the ideal. Jesus’s radical position was not too popular in 30 CE, as it is not overly popular in 2021 CE. Let’s work on our basic relationships this week!

“May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.”

Mons Frank