27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY
In the Western world today, somewhere between
one-third and one-half of marriages end in divorce. It’s a statistic
that we hear wheeled out as a sign of the collapse of family values
in our society. However, the reverse statistic is also true: somewhere
between one-half and two-thirds of marriages are lasting ones.
In the last 30-40 years, divorce has transformed from being a
shameful scandal to an accepted, even commonplace, fact of life.
It would be uncommon not to know someone affected by divorce.
Despite those who argue that divorce is too ‘easy’, it is an emotional
and difficult decision for couples to reach and has rippling impacts
on children, extended families and friends.
When the Pharisees in the gospel asked Jesus about the law regarding
divorce, they really weren’t interested in divorce; they wanted
to check Jesus’ orthodoxy – how he stood in relation to traditional
teaching. Rather than respond to them directly, Jesus asks them
first of all to name the teaching to which they refer. He then
explains that Moses only ever wrote the instruction because the
people were so unwilling to listen to God’s way.
For the second time in the last few weeks, the gospel shows Jesus
welcoming children and praising their attitude as the way to the
kingdom of God. Children of the time had no status and were regarded
as literally the property of their father. When Jesus laid his
hands on the children and gave them his blessing, this was the
action of a father ‘claiming’ the child as their own. To welcome
the kingdom like a little child is to enter into living the kingdom
of God without any claim to position or status; to recognise our
complete dependence on others; to let go of our ideas of who is
important and who is not; to allow ourselves to be ‘claimed’ by
© Fr Greg Sunter
©Creative Ministry Resources
the people of St Francis Xavier - St Clare parish, seek to live
lives, celebrating God’s presence & our faith values
through worship, outreach, service, justice & hospitality.
our Vision Statement
READINGS THIS WEEK
The Lord creates woman.
Ps 127. R. v.5
Jesus was made low to taste death for all people.
cf. 1 Jn 4:12
'Let the children come to me.’