Readings for Oct. 7. 2018

The First Reading is recorded in Genesis 2:18-25. In the first two chapters of Genesis we see God creating all that there is. His word is the means of creation – God said it, and it came to be.
A significant part of creation is companionship – it is not good that the man should be alone. What is necessary is bone of his bones and flesh and his flesh – another human being. One of the first acts of creation is the gift of human companionship, culminating in marriage. It is not good to be alone.
The closest of human companionship is marriage, and it is a gift of God.
Not all are married for various and sundry reasons, but it is still true that it is not good to be alone. We humans need to be in community, we need to be in friendships and family relationships, including the Church family.
Let us see family and friends for the gift from God that they are, and let us be part of community, whether it be in a family and/or in friendships, and in the Church.
Lord God, we see that the gift of family, friends, and the Church are gifts from You. Let us be faithful and responsible in our relationships with others, and let us be faithful in our relationship with You. We thank and praise You for loving us and giving us Yourself, family, and friends. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

The Psalm, 128, is a psalm that the pilgrims would sing or recite as they approached the city of Jerusalem to worship God at the Temple. Notice the continuing theme from the First Reading in how family is to be a gift of God. As the pilgrims approached the Temple to worship God, they would rejoice in the gift of their families. May we do the same. Notice also that as the psalm begins, fearing the Lord and walking in His ways brings blessings of the family.
Oh Lord, may we always fear, honor, revere, and love You. Enable us to be a blessing to our families, loving our family members as You have loved us. We thank You for the example of Jesus, Who made arrangements for the care of His mother even as He was dying on the cross. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Today’s Second Reading, Hebrews 2:1-13 (14-18), begins a series of readings through significant parts of the book of Hebrews. The theme of the reading, and one of the themes of the book of Hebrews is: PAY ATTENTION TO JESUS! It is Jesus Who is greater than the prophets, it is Jesus Who is greater than the angels, it is Jesus, Who through His death and resurrection, is Lord of all, it is Jesus Who shared our life and Who made propitiation/payment/satisfaction for our sins. And it is Jesus Who has shared our temptations, and Who helps us when we are tempted. Again, pay attention to Jesus, it is Jesus Who is our Lord and Savior.
Holy Spirit, we are tempted and distracted by so many things. Keep our eyes focused on Jesus, He is our Lord and Savior. Open the eyes of faith to see Him more clearly, and to follow Him in discipleship. In the Name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.

Today’s Gospel, Mark 10:2-16, is a reminder of God’s gift and intent for marriage. Don’t let our hearts become hard toward our spouse. Work through difficult times. All of us who are married see that we are not perfect in marriage, nor are our society’s attitudes about marriage all that God intends. Let us seek His strength, compassion, and love in marriage and all family relationships. And let us seek His forgiveness when we fall short of all God intends for marriage and family.
This Gospel is also a passage showing God’s compassion for those who are cast aside and marginalized in society. In the cultures of that day, women and children were of lesser value and were often cast aside. Jesus says not to do that, but that women and children, like men, are to be protected and valued by society. Our society and culture of today still have much to learn in this regard.
Lord God, in the Old Testament You are called the husband of Israel, and we see Your faithfulness to Your people, even though Your people often turned from You. In the New Testament the Church is called the bride of Christ. We again see Your faithfulness, even though we are not yet all that You would have us be. Let us look to You for guidance and love in our relationship with You and with our relationships within our families. Enable us to be better examples of Your love, and move us to care for and give justice to those who are cast aside. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

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