Sunday, October 04, 2009

They Were Testing Him

In the Gospel at Mass today, Jesus addresses the question of divorce. In short, he gives it a definitive thumbs down. He also admonishes the disciples for being fuddy-duddies about kids.

From Mark Chapter 10:

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?"

They were testing him.

He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"

They replied, "Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her."

But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate."

In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.

He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.

When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it."

Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

The image above is called "Yesus Memberkati Anak-anak." It is credited here to an artist named Komang Wahyu. Artist's statement:

I was most impressed to read in Matthew 19 that Jesus said: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as them." Adults often want to constrain children, Jesus wants to welcome them, to talk to them, to bless them. This inspired me to put it down on canvas, using a decorative style. The colours I have chosen are bright to reflect the bright and colourful mood when Jesus called the children. The aim was to represent the happy loving mood of Jesus when he was blessing the children who were witnessing to their parents and the disciples. Jesus has been placed symmetrically in the centre to become the focus. The message is that the love and grace of Jesus is for all people, from babies to old people, and that those who are disciples must regularly rethink their attitudes that Jesus is selective.

A Concord Pastor has background on today's readings.

At his new home at Beliefnet, Deacon Greg has posted his homily for this Sunday.

And, over at Googling God, Mike, who just got a nice plug from the National Catholic Reporter, has some reflections of his own for today.

No comments: