February 12, 2015 Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 7:24-30
At first reading … it may seem like today’s scripture readings are unrelated. A closer look … however … reveals elements of similarity that may not be immediately evident.
Reading 1 Gn 2:18-25
The LORD God said:
“It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
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;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs
and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman
the rib that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.
Both readings address a need. In the creation story … man needs a “suitable partner”. In the Gospel … the woman needs help for her daughter.
Both readings put forth obstacles. In the creation story … man is alone. Loneliness prevents him from being totally fulfilled. In the Gospel … demonic possession brings on helplessness … maybe even hopelessness.
Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.
In both readings … there are opportunities. In the creation story … God’s genius in the creation of woman gives Adam the opportunity to satisfy his longing for fulfillment. In the Gospel … the woman has the opportunity to plead her case to Jesus. His physical presence affords her the opportunity to be persistent in her plea.
Both readings end in a reward. In the creation story Adam is rewarded with the partner he needs for mutuality and companionship. In the Gospel … the woman gets what she asks for … her daughter is free of the demons that assail her.
We are quite like the characters in both readings. We all have needs … we encounter obstacles … we are presented with opportunities and rewards on a daily basis.
Like the characters in today’s readings … may we have the desire … the faith … and the persistence to rely on God’s presence and intervention to enrich our lives.