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March 2, 2019: Saturday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Sirach 17:1-15
Gospel Mark 10:13-16

“...for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Today’s Gospel passage immediately follows yesterday’s in Mark. In yesterday’s passage Jesus spoke the truth that marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power, because through God’s power, husband and wife “are no longer two but one flesh” [Mark 10:8]. In today’s passage Jesus becomes indignant and declares: “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Is it a coincidence that this passage immediately follows Jesus’ teaching about the sacred integrity of Marriage? The Church has taught for some two thousand years that the begetting and rearing of children is integral to God’s design of marriage: the willed exclusion of this goal prevents the integrity of a marriage.

Some might say that these two Scripture passages should not be linked. Some might say that the point of today’s passage is that each Christian is called to be “child-like”. In any case, marriage between two persons truly in love with each other and with God will bear the innocence and love for life seen in the child-like.