Reading I

 

A reading from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel (Eze. 16:1-15, 60, 63)

 

The word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations.

Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem:

By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan;

your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.

As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut;

you were neither washed with water nor anointed,

nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes.

No one looked on you with pity or compassion

to do any of these things for you.

Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome,

the day you were born.

 

Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood.

I said to you: Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field.

You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty;

your breasts were formed, your hair had grown,

but you were still stark naked.

Again, I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love.

So, I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness;

I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you;

you became mine, says the Lord GOD.

Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood,

and anointed you with oil.

I clothed you with an embroidered gown,

put sandals of fine leather on your feet;

I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear.

I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms,

a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose,

pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head.

Thus you were adorned with gold and silver;

your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.

Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food.

You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen.

You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was,

because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you,

says the Lord GOD.

 

But you were captivated by your own beauty,

you used your renown to make yourself a harlot,

and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by,

whose own you became.

 

Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl,

and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you,

that you may remember and be covered with confusion,

and that you may be utterly silenced for shame

when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.

 

 

Responsorial Psalm (Is 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6)

R. (1c) You have turned from your anger.

God indeed is my saviour;

I am confident and unafraid.

My strength and my courage is the LORD,

and he has been my Saviour.

With joy you will draw water

at the fountain of salvation.

R. You have turned from your anger.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;

among the nations make known his deeds,

proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. You have turned from your anger.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;

let this be known throughout all the earth.

Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,

for great in your midst

is the Holy One of Israel!

R. You have turned from your anger.

 

 

 Alleluia (1Thess. 2:13)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,

but, as it truly is, the word of God.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 19:3-12)

 

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,

“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning

the Creator made them male and female and said,

For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother

and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

They said to him, “Then why did Moses, command

that the man gives the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”

He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts

Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,

but from the beginning it was not so.

I say to you, whoever divorces his wife

(unless the marriage is unlawful)

and marries another commits adultery.”

His disciples said to him,

“If that is the case of a man with his wife,

it is better not to marry.”

He answered, “Not all can accept this word,

but only those to whom that is granted.

Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;

some, because they were made so by others;

some, because they have renounced marriage

for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.

Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

 

 

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

This teaching of Jesus is very clear and defends the dignity of marriage as a union of love which implies fidelity. What allows the spouses to remain united in marriage is a love of mutual giving supported by Christ’s grace. However, if in the spouses, individual interests, one’s own satisfaction prevails, then their union cannot endure. And the Gospel passage itself reminds us, with great realism, that man and woman, called to experience a relationship of love, may regretfully behave in a way that places it in crisis. (…) God’s way of acting with his unfaithful people — that is, with us — teaches us that wounded love can be healed by God through mercy and forgiveness. (Angelus, 7 October 2018)