“the Lord God said “it is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate” & Judaism & Catholicism have suffered ever since from a tragic nonsense of mans superiority over woman..she derisively termed “ a helpmate”.. ..when I worked on a building site 54 yrs ago a skilled plumber had a young junior.. a helpmate to carry the tools, to sweep up the mess & to mash the tea.. & yet we so easily miss the real beauty in story in 1st rdg.. “no helpmate suitable for man could be found” even God had to go back to the drawing board, to put in that extra divine effort to bring to birth his divinity, his equal in human person..woman.. for the times we men take for granted the women in our lives; mothers daughters widows sisters, at our peril, let us ask for Our Lords mercy & forgiveness..
“..your wife like a fruitful vine..” ; Lord have mercy “..in the heart of your house, your home..” ; Christ have mercy “..indeed thus shall we be blessed..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..in every group you find the disturbed the awkward the difficult dissenters, who breed on finding fault with those who hold opposing views, be those views staunchly conservative or radically adventurous; in gospel are the Pharisees so aptly called “the separated ones” keeping safe distance from change & reform if not from rhetoric & debate..approached Jesus “to test him”, came with a cunning agenda & pitched a full length ball onto Jesus’ middle stump..a live contentious issue then & now “is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?” Jesus refers them back to their history & tradition on which they had become dependent ; a religious addiction of dependency “what did Moses [your beloved leader & lawgiver ] command you?” & they played it straight back “Moses allowed us” & with the implication “& now will you?” you a professed & practising fellow orthodox Jew, & if not why not?..Jesus explains the law was softened in an attempt to keep likes of them on board, a leniency, a moment an opportunity for compassion, & in time in open dialogue, a time for understanding & thereby the exception to rule with creative regret.. authentic rules allow/enable whereas harsh restrictive rules conflict squeezing out breath of life..separating safe definition from the opportunity for change..the gospel calls us to separate in order to reform, to separate from mother & father & to be joined to a wife “no longer two but one body”..a divinely inspired bond in matrimony, indissoluble undividable save for those released because of their lack of understanding, unteachable, those who never really understood the importance, primacy of the bond & its everlasting nature..the disciple then & now us, todays disciples, question Jesus on it..& on this basis the Church today is gently attempting to address the tragic situation of broken marriage relationships, where man & wife have never had that depth/breadth of understanding of who & what they were called into, & what they signed up for all those years ago..it doesn’t seek to apportion blame but to listen to episodes of misunderstanding, a lack of understanding, ignorance which prevented the two becoming one body; a totally different situation to the two becoming/ being one body then falling out/ apart over it & separating “the separated ones”..Pope Francis asks us as Church to walk alongside those who are separated, broken apart, divorced & remarried..to listen to their story & to the gaps in our teaching / catechesis which have left them ignorant, spiritually illiterate & voiceless..folk certainly not unteachable but victims of poor teaching & example, thereby lacking in due understanding & awareness, exacerbated by inadequate or lack of ongoing pastoral care.. a childlikeness many in marriage & monastic life experienced on entering the life long commitment, & they/we found childishness in those we expected to be good wise mature teachers..even now approach the Church with due caution, in case the childishness is laid at your feet, when those in authority, dare I say, need to leave their ivory towers, tomes of case law & encyclicals & reconnect with those for whom the kingdom of God is prepared ..the small humble genuine seeker in faith & relationships, on an Emmaus journey to a place at the table & the meal of a lifetime..in the real presence of our real God of mercy & compassion..real meets real..truth to truth, heart to heart.. I leave you with wisdom of Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia “the Joy of Love”..“ as for the way of dealing with different “irregular” situations, the Synod Fathers reached a consensus, which I support ; “ in considering a pastoral approach towards people who have contracted a civil marriage who are divorced & remarried, or simply living together, the Church has a responsibility of helping them understand the divine pedagogy of grace in their lives, & offering them assistance so they can reach the fullness of God’s plan for them”, something which is always possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Pedagogy means to walk alongside, to share wisdom & experience..to accompany & to listen to the individuals story, thereby beginning a journey of healing..a hopeful message for meek children too often blanked out by our our own sense, our own non-sense, of childish hopelessness when faced with divorce & remarriage..we need them back in pew & at the altar.. [27thSunYrBMk10;2-16]