Marriage is sacred, and created by God himself

By Msgr. William Carr

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Genesis 2:18-24; Hebrews 2:9-11; and Mark 10:2-16
Sunday we begin using the Book of Hebrews for our second reading. We shall continue using this book until the end of the Church Year. The general theme of Hebrews is the superiority of Jesus Christ and the new covenant over the old way.
Scholars debate the origin and background of the book. Some think it is an apologetic of Christians against forces in the Church who wanted to return to many Jewish practices.
Others think that it was a response of dispersed Christians to Jews in Jerusalem who wanted help during the Jewish-Roman War of 69-70 A.D. According to this theory, Jews in Jerusalem would be pleading for Christians to remember with nostalgia the temple, the liturgy, the covenant, and to return to help save Jerusalem.
The answer (in this theory) would be that Christians no longer needed these things, for they had a new and better way. Remember that the second reading rarely fits the theme of the first reading and gospel.
The real theme of Sunday’s Mass is the sanctity of marriage. Man and woman are made for each other. The “institution” of marriage was created by God from the beginning; he intends that marriage be a blessing which lasts until death. (The first reading may seem a bit chauvinistic to us. But remember that woman was considered as chattel property by many ancient cultures.
Not so in Judaism! Woman had the same nature as man. “Rib” probably is not a good translation. The Hebrew word here probably comes from the Ugaritic language word and means “life.” Woman and man have the same LIFE.
Jesus does not mince words in the gospel. He says that whoever divorces and remarries commits adultery. This is a negative way of saying that couples need to solve their problems and grow in love so that there is never any thought of divorce. Pray today that all married couples will grow together in understanding, patience, and mature love.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 7:7-11; Hebrews 4:12-13; and Mark 10:17-30
The Book of Wisdom (from which our first reading is taken) is attributed to Solomon. Very likely, however, he did not write it. But the “first person” (the “I”) is intended to be Solomon.
The reading alludes to the famous story of young Solomon who became king after his father, David. God told Solomon that he would grant one request. Instead of asking for wealth or long life or health, Solomon asked for wisdom. Wisdom is the gift of putting everything in its proper place. Wisdom is the gift of finding the true meaning and goal of life.
Wisdom is knowing how everything fits together to achieve that goal. Today’s first reading is Solomon’s description: “I prayed, and prudence was given to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne…”
True wisdom leads to eternal life. The rich young man in the gospel wanted everlasting life, but he did not want to make the sacrifices necessary to attain it. True wisdom moves us to sacrifice present goals for future fulfillment.
Wisdom does not come to most of us instantly or automatically; we must constantly strive for wisdom. The second reading gives us a great source for wisdom: “God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates the spirit.” In other words, God’s word forces us to be honest in seeking real truth instead of smooth talk and half truths.
God’s word cuts through to our soul and lets us know when we are rationalizing or temporizing or deceiving ourselves. Let us seek true wisdom which will move us to devote all that we are and all that we have to God’s greater glory.