Sunday Reflection by Very Rev. Stephen Salocks, Rector - 10/3/2021
On the 27th Sunday of the Year, the scriptures offer powerful reminders that our relationships with God and one another are central to what we believe and how we practice our faith. In the Gospel, Jesus, responding to the Pharisees question about divorce, recalls the words of Genesis and points to what God originally intended for the man and woman. They were to be joined in a permanent, faithful union that would be a sign that points to the perfect expression of such faithful union: that of Christ and the Church.
Beyond the language of suitable partners, marriage, and divorce, Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ question also leads us to reflect more deeply on the way our relationship with God, in Christ and by the Holy Spirit should define every other relationship of our lives.
God created us in his image and likeness. Drawing on the teaching of Genesis, Jesus says, “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.”
God created us for community. We need one another. Marriage is the most explicit expression of this unity, but the desire for unity with God and others is true for all humans, even when they do not marry. In this reagard, today's Second Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews is particularly helpful.
Since our relationship with God sets the tone for every other relationship of our lives, Hebrews reminds us today how, in Jesus Christ, the purpose of human existence that originated with God becomes clear. Jesus Christ is God’s greatest gift. Jesus is the most intensely personal form of grace that God grants. Jesus Christ is the one for whom and through whom we are created and saved. The agent of our creation is the agent of our re-creation and salvation.
Taking on our human nature and experiencing our human suffering and temptation, Jesus was able to become the leader and foundation of our salvation. God made himself one with us, and Christ is the bridge between God and man and the way for us to be brothers and sisters of Christ and in Christ. We are made for him. Through Christ, individually and in our relationships, we are caught up in the life of God.
The Gospel acclamation today offers our response: “If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is brought to perfection in us.” Today, we pray that God will continue to bless us with his love and especially bless all those who have entered and will enter into the Sacrament of Matrimony.