In Mark 10:2-16, Jesus moves to protect and embrace two more types of "little (powerless) ones": Children, and wives, who in that society easily became victims of one-sided divorce laws. Jesus makes two powerful changes in the divorce discussions of his day. First, he counters the "right" of divorce (a connection to human hard-heartedness, exercisable only by the husband) with the clear intent of God: "But from the beginning…" He further emphasizes the depth of God's intent by broadening the concept of "adultery" to include the divorce of one's spouse to marry another. Second, he sets husband and wife on a level of equality, the same charge applying to both partners alike. The children in Jesus' day held no rights at all. Jesus welcomes them with hugs and blesses them. He says that the kingdom belongs only to these and those who are like them. Jesus reminds us in this Gospel lesson, that God's intent for our relationships is goodness and fulfillment. God intends that we experience unity and oneness. The reality, as we all know, is that often times relationships falter. They are broken as a result of sinfulness. The Pharisees would have the story end at this point and say, "that is the law." For those who fall short of the law, all is lost, they would say. Jesus, however, says that God's intent is that we should all know that no matter how we might fall short of fulfilling the law, we are always welcomed to him. Instead of clinging to the law that Jesus knows we will fall short of fulfilling, he promises us hope. Jesus calls the lost, the least, and the last, and welcomes them into his arms. Jesus says to those who have troubled hearts, "Believe in me." Out of broken relationships and broken hearts, we find not a law that condemns us, but we are offered a love that frees us. Take heart. Our Lord offers us hope.