The Gift of Marriage

Readings for Thursday February 10, 2011

First Reading: Genesis 2:18-25
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128
Gospel: Mark 7:24-30

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. (Gn. 2:18-25)

The garden of Eden, the perfect paradise in which Adam and Eve spent the first part of their lives. After the creation, it is said that "the man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame" It is truly amazing the childlike innocence that they were both given, to just simply be as God had made them and to feel at peace about that. Because of the fall, that is something that we will not be able to experience in our life here on earth. It is so sad that we do not understand what our body's are for, and how they are a gift for our spouse. Adam, even though no one had told him, had understood this completely, for the moment he first saw Eve; he 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." Adam immediately understood the one flesh union of man and wife.

It is sad that today, our marriages all around the world are in trouble. In the US the divorce rate is just over 50%. And even among the couples who do not get divorced, how many of them are having a thriving marriage? While we have fallen far away from the garden of Eden and of the moment of feeling no shame, we can still honor this one flesh union in the sacrament of marriage in many ways. We should all strive to ensure that the sanctity of marriage is always upheld. Today we are in a fight against our culture in regards to faith and the family, and many groups out their, and even many in our government seek to defile this sacred sacrament. We must not only be active in helping to ensure that marriage stays between one man and one woman; but we must also be active in praying for marriages worldwide.

Let us uphold the things that God has made good and holy, let us persevere in this life, and then one day we too can reach a place in heaven where we will be able to be as we are and feel no shame.

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, give us the strength and courage to serve you this day and always. Lord we pray for marriages worldwide, that all may see the grace and beauty of this sacrament. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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