Today’s Bible reading
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. — Genesis 2:21-25
More thoughts for meditation
The harmony of creation is expressed in this text as a communion of love. The original human is separated into two – the man and the woman – who originate from the same flesh. When Adam sees the woman, he exclaims, “bone of my bone! Flesh of my flesh!” They are destined to return to the point of origin, coming together again in the mystery of marriage. But the return is not merely a reversal, as though they would reabsorb one another into their bodies. Rather, they are bound together in a unity that preserves and perfects – rather than destroys – their own specific identities. Conformity is unity at the expense of distinction. Tolerance is difference at the expense of unity. Both fall short of communion, which is a real union while also maintaining distinction. This is descriptive not only of ideal human love, but also of our union with God. Unlike a river which loses its form when it empties into the ocean, our union with God actually makes our personality more vivid and defined.
In classical theology, this movement of going out and coming back is a microcosm of the procession and return that describes all of reality. The cosmos is the unfolding (explicatio) of God; God is the enfolding (complicatio) of the cosmos. All things are given existence and life by God. But, all things also are moving toward their fulfillment in God. For these theologians, gravity which moves the planets and love which moves the human heart are merely part of the one movement of the cosmos towards the Creator.
Suggestion for action
Conformity and tolerance are both false expressions of communion. Do you feel a pull toward one or the other in the relationships in your life? Notice how they make you feel. Don’t try to solve the problem, but bring it into your prayer.