Ezekiel 16:1-15, 60, 63
Jesus talks to us about relationships; marriage for life, broken marriages and renouncing marriage for the sake of the kingdom.
In the bible he comes through as someone who saw every person as precious, even the least and the outcast, to be lifted up and welcomed. His stories joyfully affirm life.
Today he laments breakdown of relationships, failure and incapacity. He condemns breaking relationships, and he acknowledges those not suited to traditional marriage.
It is important to be aware of just how deeply he loved and accepted those whose needs were not being met. We cannot leap ahead centuries to a modern understanding of the whole LGBTQI+ spectrum and related identity and relationship issues, and judge people of that era over issues not yet brought to awareness. But we can be certain that Jesus affirms the goodness of every person, regardless of their condition or orientation. We therefore infer that he would not withhold his blessing from their honest commitments, and that neither should we.
Rome upholds a strict interpretation against divorce, and yet does annulments which look a lot like divorce to the public. Our faithful brethren in the whole world church, the Eastern Orthodox, bless remarriage after divorce.
Jesus’ love of life shines through today’s story, along with his urgent hope for us to share it, respecting others as they are, and faithful to our commitments. His grace lifts us up as we stumble along this path.
Jeff Foale is an Australian Passionist living in Vietnam, a former New Guinea missionary with a passion for service of the poor and refugees and who loves life in all its forms and enjoys photography.