Working for the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: hardness of your hearts, from the beginning of creation, disciples rebuked, he became indignant, kingdom of God, embraced them and blessed them
To the point: Jesus is indignant with the disciples for the same reason he confronts the Pharisees for their “hardness of ... hearts,” Jesus contrasts the, “hardness of ... hearts” that led to the Mosaic Law permitting divorce with the openness of heart he modeled when he embraced and blessed the children. In the midst of real struggles and difficulties marking human relationships, we are to maintain the openness of heart—like Jesus and innocent children—that was God's intention “from the beginning of creation.” In such openness of heart the kingdom of God is among us.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: This familiar story from Genesis reveals that “from the beginning of creation” God intended that we humans live in community and be in life-giving relationships with each other and all of creation.
… to experience: Hardness of heart can be easier than openness of heart because the former focuses us on ourselves. In the end, however, such hardness of heart destroys self and relationships. The only way to real fulfillment of self is through openness to others.