First reading: Gen. 2:18–24
The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.
Second reading: Heb. 2:9–11
Brothers and sisters: He “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers.”
Gospel: Mk. 10:2–16
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.
In other words Fr. Benigno P. Beltran, SVD (Christ the King Mission Seminary, Quezon City)
Instead of discussing whether divorce should be allowed, the objective should be how to support married people to commit themselves to building a family and transforming society so that they would find it easier to raise better human beings by teaching the core Gospel values. Evolution has decreed that human beings take much longer time to develop after they are born. Unlike zebras whose calves can walk around a few minutes from birth or lions whose cubs can fend for themselves in a relatively short time, babies take a long time before they can walk and feed themselves. Apart from physical development, human beings also need character building and education for years before they can get jobs and become independent.
In this complicated society, children need role models too, not just being clothed and fed. Many of these young people in the U.S., for example, who just took guns and murdered their classmates, grew up without their fathers. And in a time when values are easily picked up from Instagram and TikTok, children need more guidance from their parents, who often have to work and battle traffic and have little time to be with their children. The fundamental purpose of the family is to bring forth and develop a child’s best and deepest qualities and cultivate his/her personal, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual capacities so that he/she can build a better future.
We are failing our kids. Most of them are not learning much in school. They are on their cellphones most of the time, but many of them are suffering at such an early age from depression, hopelessness, and despair. Psychologists are alarmed about the sharp rise in children committing suicide. Connected to social media, but they feel alone and lonely. More than ever, we have to transform society to be more child-friendly so that children can adapt to the accelerating changes happening in society in the face of science and technology and in the face of the dire effects of the climate emergency.
Parents have to provide children and young people with a new vision of human possibility and prepare kids to thrive in a world that has been described as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. They need more than ever to stay faithful to each other until death. They need to bring up their children:
- in integrity, to constantly strive to become more human in constant self-transcendence in the search for meaning in a world that is continually evolving;
- in solidarity, to outgrow national and ethnic differences and reclaim Mother Earth as their common home and work together to build a better future for every human being; and
- in creativity, to help them connect with the Creative Designer of the cosmos who co-creates with all lifeforms that inhabit the biosphere in dynamic evolution towards wholeness and fulfillment in the new heaven and the new earth.