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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Oct. 7, 2012

By Sharon K. Perkins
Catholic News Service

October 7, Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Genesis 2:18-24

Psalm 128:1-6

2) Hebrews 2:9-11

Gospel: Mark 10:2-16

In the early 1990s, a popular book by author John Gray hit the best-seller list and stayed there for a long time. The book, entitled "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," rested on the premise that women and men think and communicate so differently from each other that they might as well have come from different planets. A classic example: I can bring up a particular problem and only want to talk it through; my husband instinctively goes into "solution mode." He thinks it's his job to resolve my dilemma, and I'm content for him to just listen.

Many social scientists and psychologists have attempted to analyze and validate these gender distinctions, while others claim that the sexes are more alike than not. Having been married to the same man for 34 years, and having observed other married couples, I'm inclined to concur that men and women are simply "wired" differently. And that's not a bad thing. The mutual joining of two disparate people is how family begins and comes to fruition.

Today's readings are full of familial references: fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives. Those relationships aren't necessarily harmonious, either. Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees with the problem of men divorcing their wives. Later, he takes his disciples to task for their rebuff of the children who gather around him. Since time immemorial, envious siblings have bickered and argued. Children have disrespected parents, and, tragically, parents have abused children. Selfishly inflexible in our thoughts and actions, we foster contention and strife.

Even so, the Scriptures suggest that the human family -- however flawed, imperfect and wounded by sin -- is a sign that points us to a God who is relational by nature. In the Letter to the Hebrews, Jesus -- the one chosen to bring God's "children to glory" -- shares one origin with the ones being consecrated. As divided and contentious as we are, "he is not ashamed" to call us brothers and sisters.

We don't have to renounce or deny our diversity. Jesus has already brought us, in all our varied splendor, into his family of origin. But for God's family to grow and come to fruition, we must follow our brother's example, surrender our "hardness of heart" and become one in him.


Is there a person in your family of origin with whom you don't "get along"? How can you follow Jesus' example and humble yourself in order to bring greater unity to God's family?


"But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female." -- Mark 10:6


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