The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for the home
October 7, 2018 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 10:2-16
Need water? Go to Mars! That was one of the latest scientific findings coming our way. We live during a time of wondrous scientific discoveries about our universe. Our beloved universe. Our treasured world. Does that sound familiar? It should. These are words coming from Pope Francis who now enjoys more popularity in our country than any of our political leaders. Perhaps more than all of them put together!
Scientists tell us that the physical forces of the universe are quite complex yet perfectly attuned to create life in us and in all the wonderful beasts of the jungle, the ocean depths and in our own backyard. God, we have come to know, is an incredible architect. God’s plan for Creation is magnificent. It contains a long history we are gradually learning about. And each new lesson can lead us to deeper appreciation for the One who created it.
This brings us to the question Pope Francis was asked by a young girl. He shared this with us when he addressed us all at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Do you recall the question? It was a really good one. “What was God doing before God created the world?” Pope Francis immediately saw this as no ordinary question. It was a tough one. After a moment of reflection, he gave his answer. “God loved.” That’s what God had always been doing and will continue to do forever. That’s at the heart of our faith in God.
And God’s love is the energy that brought forth the whole universe. There is no more powerful force anywhere. Love is greater than nuclear energy, solar energy, cosmic energy, any energy we can even imagine. In fact, God’s loving energy is the source of all good expressions of energy. God’s love is a force behind all that is good and all that is worthwhile. The force of love holds God and us together. It hold us together. Without the presence of love, we would drift apart and surely miss some of life’s greatest joys.
In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of this force of love holding married couples together. He says that God joins the wife and husband so firmly that the two actually move together into oneness. This is not some kind of supernatural magic. God’s work is connected with our own effort. Both divine and human interpersonal love are freely given and freely received. Whenever this happens, a powerful event in the universe comes into being.
A similar process of love happens between parents and children, between friends and neighbors -- or whenever humans love each other. Genuine love includes not only helping others, but our giving to the other something of ourselves. Just like God does.
©David M. Thomas, PhD