TWENTY SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B
3rd October 2021
Genesis 2:18-24; Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16.
Today’s gospel is emphasising the reality of Christian marriage. Christian marriage is between a man and a woman. Jesus said; ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body’. By becoming one they become inseparable. Basic arithmetic shows that one plus one is two. But in this case Jesus insists that one plus one is one. What is the meaning of no longer two but one body?
The first reading took us back to the story of creation. The first man could not identify with any of God’s creation until God fashioned a woman out of the man. The man identified the woman as bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is an indication that man and woman are of the same substance, as such must remain together. When people fall in love, they fall in love with this substance. This substance is transferred through procreation. Over time this substance has gathered with it a mass of behaviours, attitudes, things learned, prejudices, preferences etc. It is no longer a pure substance. Marital union and relationships will have to deal with this impurity.
When people fall in love, they are attracted by the pure substance. But the moment they achieve some form of stability in relationship, these impurities rear their ugly heads. The reason we divorce is because we were not prepared to bear with these impurities. This is why Jesus reminded the Pharisees that from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. He made them male and female in pure innocence. Today, the Christian marriage is a vocation to love through sacrifice. Through prayerful sacrifice, we bear with the impurities in order to behold the pure substance that we were made of. Divorce will not solve any problem, but sacrifice will tame these invincible impurities.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.