Reflection on the Daily Readings for 2/12/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture:  5th Thursday, ordinary. Genesis 2:18-25. Psalm 128:1-2,3.4-5.
Mark 7:24-30. Lectionary # 332.

Genesis now gives us the story of the creation of woman.  We are in
the heart of the Yahwist Tradition, the most ancient of the theological and
inspired writings of the Hebrew Scriptures.  It is fascinating for the
language is simple, human-centered, and has an image of God that is
childlike and yet profound.  Woman is created directly by God without the
need for clay as was the man!  This story is important for the way in which
Jesus will confront his own religious leaders who are not faithful to this
text which makes this union of man and woman so great that no one should
put it asunder--not even human laws.  But life is complicated enough for
each person and when there are two involved in a marriage bond, the
complications are doubled.  So too are the graces and that is what Jesus
tries to bring out when he does use this text against those who are hard
hearted.  In our Catholic tradition we call this union a sacrament which
gives the couple the graces to persevere "until death do them part."  It is
more that a contract, it is a vocation of love, a call to love the other as
oneself for the love of God.  This demands a lot of maturity and
faithfulness to the commitment. It is not a fifty-fifty one, but one
hundred percent on the part of both, wife and husband. The intimacy of this
relationship is beautifully described by Genesis: "This one, at last, is
bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called 'woman'.
This free willed act of union is so great that it is even the reason for
departing from one's life-givers, our parents, "That is why a man leaves
his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become
one body."

The Psalm fits family life perfectly and describes in simple imagery
the joy and beauty of a family that is together.  This shows the gift of
progeny that it united to the gift of intimate love and friendship. The
Psalm continues to describe family life and gives God praise because of the
joy, happiness, and beauty that is experienced by those who choose this way
of life.   The children are "like olive plants around the table."

These thoughts may seem idealistic but in the realm of the spiritual
lives of those who are married it is such that makes up the vocation and
sacramentalizes it. We may wish to pray today for our parents who in many
ways exemplified the ideals of a good wholesome marriage. It is they who
also gave us the life we enjoy whereby we, too, can choose what is best for
our calling in life. Amen.