27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
He put his arms round them and gave them his blessing.
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us
to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
The scriptures this Sunday teach us about the importance and centrality of loving relationships to the expression of our faith.
The excerpt from Genesis (First Reading) begins our salvation story with a vision of humanity in harmonious relationship with nature. We are formed of the same elements as the earth we live upon and share with creation. Women and men are helpmates for each other and tasked with caring for God’s creation.
The song of the Lord’s blessings upon us in the Psalm uses images of abundance to describe God’s relationship with creation.
The theology outlined in the Second Reading reveals the solidarity and compassion of the Lord with the world and humanity by sharing with us in suffering, death, and in leading us towards Resurrection.
The Gospel contrasts two different aspects of human nature. The Pharisees attempt to exert authority and power over Jesus by testing his understanding of contested aspects of the law. Jesus responds by reminding them that the law was only given to them because they had lost touch with the essential truth of loving relationship at the heart of creation. His response to them and subsequent welcoming of little children is a stark challenge to the patriarchy of the time to respect both women and children as equals to men in God’s eyes.
Let us pray that we will be blessed with the same compassionate spirit of Jesus to build a more just society that urgently focuses on restoring our harmony with nature.