Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
The Second Story of Creation “The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone….’ So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them…The man gave names to all…; but none proved to be a suitable partner for him…”
The Happy Home of the Just “Happy are all who fear the Lord, who walk in the ways of God...”
The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith “…For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter…”
As we continue today, reading in the book of Genesis, we find a very familiar reading. Familiar because, in addition to a normal Church cycle of scheduling this reading, we have also heard it read many times in the wedding ceremonies of our families and friends. This “Second Story of Creation,” or as it is referred to in the Jerusalem Bible as “Paradise, and the Test of Free Will,” is a very personal description of the point in creation where God creates man. In realizing that “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), God proceeds to create other living creatures, whom He forms from the “ground” letting man name each one. But none prove to be a “suitable” partner for the man; and then God creates woman by putting the man to sleep and taking a rib from the man’s side. “The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man.” (Genesis 2:22)
WOW, Huh! With greater familiarity the biblical stories sometimes lose their wow. I kept reflecting on this reading, trying to realize something more than the good feeling I’d gotten at those many weddings I’d attended. I thought about how, out of Love, God had created both man and woman, and how He had put mankind in charge of caring for all of His creation on the earth. He could have put the Angels in charge, perfect custodians, totally obedient to His will. I’ve heard others say that when God created mankind, He did so wanting a new and different creation, totally different than the angels. He created mankind in His image and likeness, to be His earthly custodians, with intellect and free will, the ability to choose to do His will or not. God told us to “be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) There can be no doubt; humankind is highly esteemed in the eyes of God.
In the midst of my reflection time, I found myself in prayer while in route to our annual pro-life dinner for this area. I was finishing the rosary I’d started earlier in the day, and was on the third decade of the Glorious mystery, or Jesus sends His Holy Spirit. I asked the Spirit to reveal to the hearts of all human kind what had been revealed to me some nine years ago, the horrible Truth about abortion, about the life that is taken, God’s creation. And then, my next words of prayer were, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Suddenly, I understood something more clearly than I ever had before. I had asked for a revelation for others, and I received a revelation myself. Deep inside, my heart whimpered as I felt a measure of the Lord’s compassion for all of us. Jesus had prayed these same words to the Father, revealing the depth of His Love for us, as he hung on the cross dying. Delirious from His very real pain, including crucifixion, He had uttered this prayer, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Christ, our teacher showed us a glimpse of the Father’s Love as He persevered in showing Love through the end of his human life. To grasp the depth of Love the Father has for each of us, which begins before our creation, it helps me to remember Jesus and the Love he conveyed during His short time of being with us in human form. So let us ask God to help us to love one another, as we continue to look to Jesus, to show us the way, Christ with us. In Mark’s Gospel, we are reminded how Jesus responds to persistent faith. Because of the mother’s faith, Jesus expels the demon from her little girl. We learn to ask first, and then we listen, for the mother had to return home to see if Jesus’ miracle had worked. Yes, God created humankind, and put us in charge of His Universe. It is a big job. I think He knew we would try to do it on our own, but for all of our good intentions, and the good things we do, we don’t always know what we are doing, none of us do but we are thankful God forgives.
As the psalmist says, “Happy are those who fear the Lord,” and blessed will we be who ask for His help.
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