Mark 10: 2 – 16
From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan.
A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”
Jesus said, “What did Moses command?”
They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”
Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman – no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: “A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her. And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery.”
The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it:
“Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very centre of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”
Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
This week’s Gospel gives us a moment to pause and ask ourselves if we have become like the Pharisees – do we throw people away? Do we allow ourselves to buy into the hardness of heart that allows us to justify it? Do we find ourselves choosing the value of one life over another, one person over another, one group of people over another?
Nobody is a “throw away person.” There are sinful people, yes, and we are included in that bunch. There are difficult people, yes, and sometimes we are included in that bunch. There are people that are loved by God, and we are all included in that bunch.
Every person you meet today – friend or foe, rich or poor, sinner or saint – is made in the image and likeness of God. From the beginning, God intended us to see each other that way. Sin happened, and our vision can become distorted. This week, re-read the Gospel and invite Christ to give you eyes to see the world as He sees it, and more importantly, to see our brothers and sisters as Christ sees them.