Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary
Mk 10:2-16 or 10:2-12
October 3, 2021

Our First Reading, “The Creation Story,” as told at Genesis 2, is frequently proclaimed at wedding liturgies. Certainly, it is a most appropriate choice for such an occasion. These Words of The Lord capture the hopes for the future, of a couple beginning their married life together. Unity! Peace! Love!

But I had an interesting thought.

What if this little passage had been read as part of the opening remarks at the meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations last week?

Admittedly, I did not follow the proceedings closely…but there were matters of grave international concern on the agenda. Things affecting the health and well-being of every man, woman, and child on planet Earth were up for discussion. Nevertheless, the parts that I did hear left me with the impression that the nations of the world are anything but “united.”

Or…what if this “Creation story” had been read by our nation’s leaders in the chambers of Congress, before the most recent debate broke out over the national budget?

Dialogue, discussion, concern for the common good…all the things that bring about compromise, very often leading to sound and effective solutions, no longer seem to be part of the legislative equation. Sometimes I feel like we have forgotten our first name…UNITED!

Would a gentle reminder of our Creator’s plan help?

The same “failure to communicate,” by the way, holds true in many of the countries around the world.

I wonder if it would have any effect whatsoever if this passage were read at the beginning of corporate board meetings? Would decisions be less profit-driven and more socially responsible?

Could we…or SHOULD WE…reflect on Genesis 2 at the beginning of every meeting of parish leaders? Would the story of our “beginning” inspire Bishops and Cardinals to refrain from breaking into camps when they meet to chart the course of our universal Church? One Body…united in Christ?

If you’ve ever served on parish council, you know that a gentle reminder of who we are and what we are about is often in order.

Would this passage provide an effective reality check at the higher levels of Church governance?

Possibly, marriage counselors might find it useful to begin a session with a flashback to the dreams a troubled couple shared on their wedding day. And then, ask the simple question:

When did you stop dreaming the same dream?

What was it that caused you to move apart?

While it is true that this passage is fitting and appropriate to begin the Liturgy of The Word as we celebrate the Sacrament of Christian Marriage…it offers much, much more than inspiration for the lifelong union of spouses.

These Words, which introduce the Old Testament, capture the hopes of our Creator at the dawn of creation. Genesis 2 is our Creator’s invitation to us, inviting us to live our earthly lives in Unity! Peace! Love!

The passage points to our shared origins…THE HAND OF GOD. It also highlights the reality that we are all different, but our differences are intended to compliment rather than divide.

This intentional design promotes a strong partnership based on interdependence and mutual respect. We are more creative and more productive when we work together, drawing on one another’s strengths and compensating for one another’s weaknesses.

“Going it alone” not only makes for more work…but it also makes the work lonely. And, at the conclusion, if there is no work partner, there is no one with whom to share the accomplishments. Moreover, the inevitable failures are easier to survive when there is someone who shares the disappointing experience, to commiserate…and to reboot.

Obviously, there isn’t always harmony in married life. But conflicting views and opinions are actually opportunities for partners to show an image of God to one another…through forgiveness, patience, and love.

It all comes down to this:

Genesis 2 offers a beautiful and inspiring message to a couple beginning their married life. But it also offers encouragement to all humanity to interact with mutual respect and cooperation.

If we could only learn that lesson and do our best to live it out at every level of society, the world would truly enjoy a time of

Unity! Peace! Love!