Daily Reflection
February 11th, 1999
Larry Gillick, S.J.
The Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Genesis 2:18-25
Mark 7:24-30
A beautiful story is told us in today's first reading during the Eucharistic liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church.  The first reading from the first book of the Hebrew Scriptures continues the story of creation.  Man and woman are both equal in being created by the one God Who desires that their union be a reflection of how God loves and is committed to all of creation.

It is not a text to prove who came first and so who is best.  God came first and the story of humankind which begins in Genesis will relate the struggles that men and women equally have in humbly recognizing and accepting God as creator, provider and reconciler.  As women and men are meant to live lovingly with each other in marriage, so are they to live a similar mode of loving all of God's family.

The Gospel today tells a story of a Greek woman, a foreigner, pleading with Jesus to cure her daughter.  Jesus seems a bit cruel in His initial response, but it is a way to heighten the drama of His real response.  He is first saying that His own people should receive His care first, but her faith in Him is the main point which Mark wants us to see and experience in our own lives.

Both readings have this central common theme.  We are, as creatures, dependent on God and on God's creatures which God gives us as gifts.  A husband can not be God for his wife, nor a wife for her husband.  What marriage does is gracefully frustrate the marriage partners in their human longing for a God they can touch and see.  Everything and everybody leads all of us through frustration to the simple awareness that God is beyond, yet near.

The Greek woman loves her sick daughter and can not cure her herself; if she could, she would not need Jesus.  Married people accompany each other to the threshold where the beloved must cross and the lover stay behind to wait for the return.  Married people love their partners enough to lead them to their awareness of their need for God.  This is hard, because when you love someone you want to be all that the beloved would ever want or need.

We pray for those who have entered this loving relationship of marriage and those who will soon embrace this way of finding God finding them.  Married or not, the readings lead us all to experience again that we are dependent on the God who is still creating us all through the gifts we are to each other.


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