Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 140

In Jesus’s day marriage could commonly be viewed by the formula:

m=((a+b) ∑ r*^(f*s))/f+s

Where  m= marriage and a=man  b=woman r=religion, where r1 is religion1 and r2 is religion2, etc….  f=family, where f1 is family 1, f2 is family2,….. s=society,s1 is society 1 and s2 is society2 etc…..  f+s= family-society constant

In this formula r, f, s,(f+s) are man-made variables and a and b are God created constants. While many groups in Jesus day thought that the formula should have been modified by a common divisor “oh”; Jesus many think wished that the complex mathematics of the marriage formula be reduced to a simpler mathematical statement of:

                                                         m= (a+b)

In Jesus formula he argued through the “kingdom of God theorem” that the man-made variables were not truly parts of the equation. In his view m was simply a product of Gods creation.

Is it any surprise that the Pharisees in their question asked if it was lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. They were obsessed with legalities and this was not the approach Jesus took in his ministry. In asking what the Law of Moses said several things become apparent. First it is the husband that can divorce and not he wife. Does that seem to indicate that marriage was seen more as a contract between groups rather than a sacrament? Also, the law that Jesus asks about was Jewish law. There is no mention of the Roman or Greek laws. Each law pertained to each group, how does God fit into the equation? The Law of Moses was written within the context of a particular society and largely to bring about a peaceful order to that society. Even Moses would have viewed them as a compromise rather than an absolute. In being a compromise, loopholes can always be found and exceptions can always be written. Jesus tends to move away from these compromises and burdensome self-serving legalities; his is a constant proclamation of Gods Kingdom and marriage viewed as a part of that kingdom and obedient to the truth of God, even if that truth might go against man’s laws, be difficult to discern, or challenging to follow. The Church teaches that Marriage between man and woman mirrors the relationship between man and the creator. His is a hard line answer against the law of man, and is a reiteration of the law of creation, and Gods love for mankind. To Jesus in the Kingdom of God many laws and traditions will be re-written, likely even the laws of Moses. Two phrases that are interesting to compare are: God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother; and “Let the children come to me”: In coming towards Jesus the children leave the law of the elders behind( that is the Kingdom of Man )so that they can be joined in Jesus and enter a new Kingdom of God.

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