Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 7:24—30)
A man has two grown children – a male and a female. Neither of them, however, have children. One of them kids her father. “You don’t have grandchildren,” she says, “you have granddogs.” My friend does not say that he is disappointed, but obviously he is. Today’s first reading helps us understand why.
God sees that it is not good for man to be alone. It may not be good for God that man is that way or for the rest of creation. But probably it is mostly not good for man. Shortly, it is seen why. When God creates possible companions for man, man begins to speak. Man names each the animal: an elephant, a giraffe, a dog, and a cat. But man’s speech blossoms when God forms a creature from man’s rib. Man not only names the look alike “woman,” but in the process gives a name for himself. She is “from man,” and he is now not adamah, that is man in general, but “a man.” The English seem to reflect the Hebrew here. Woman is from man as in Hebrew where ‘ishah is from ‘ish. She is the perfect mate. She will be able to talk with the man to draw out further knowledge. They will come together intimately so that neither will be lonely, that is longing for another.
Dogs can never replace other people and most especially a spouse as companions. Jesus notes this in his teaching on marriage and divorce. Marriage needs our support. It is -- and will always be – the permanent union of a man and a woman both for love and for procreation. If marriage as an institution fails, disaster will result. People will not only feel lonely, but in their longing choose morbid options like drugs and promiscuity.