The Lord God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him."
Thus begins the first reading from today's liturgy, from Genesis. God said that it is not good for man to be alone, and so it is fair to ask why. Why is that not good? There is a good chance that about half of those reading this will be introverts, as I am, who often crave their alone time. We may find ourselves disagreeing with the Lord at those times, saying, "God, it would be very good for me to be alone right about now!" And indeed those quiet, calm moments of solitude are important for us. But God is not speaking here of quiet moments. He is speaking of a life long condition. And no one desires a life of isolation and loneliness.
Let's back up a minute and look at the source -- the ultimate Source, God Himself. When God became incarnate in Christ, through Him and through His teachings, He revealed to us something very intimate about Himself. God showed to us a glimpse of His inner life, and that is that He exists as Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is three persons, all sharing in the same being, the same existence. This is a fascinating mystery, which theologians have spent lifetimes contemplating. One of the most important revelations we have received about God is this: that within His very nature He has relationship. Indeed, He is relationship.
And God made us in His image.
Now we can see why it is not good for man to be alone. We were made in the image and likeness of God, who is Relationship. Therefore we were made also to be in relationship. The first and most important relationship we can have is that with our Creator. But we are also called to be in relationship with other children of God. Only then will we be truly happy, because otherwise there will remain something unfulfilled in our nature.
In this aspect we are very much like God, but of course we differ from God in many ways. One important difference is that God, in His infinite goodness, can be in a loving relationship with each one of us, every person ever created, in all time. We, on the other hand, are rather limited. For example, it would be impossible for anyone to even learn the names of all the 10,000 plus students at WCU, let alone form a loving and meaningful relationship with each and every one of them.
And so, just as Adam was given a suitable partner by God, we are also called to choose a suitable partner for ourselves. This is the vocation of marriage.
God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.
Marriage is a reflection of the Holy Trinity. Just as God is three persons in one being, so too when we marry, our two distinct persons form a new being, "one flesh," something new in Creation. And just as the love between the Father and the Son gives rise to the Holy Spirit, the love between a husband and wife is also fruitful, giving rise to a new person, a child. The family is an image of God.
When a marriage is rooted in the Lord, when husband and wife understand the deep meaning of their vocation, then the family they create is a light shining for the world. Their relational vocation helps each member of the family to grow in their most important relationship -- their relationship with God.
There is no divorce within God. The Father will never divorce the Son, nor the Son separate himself from the Holy Spirit. In God, everything is whole. And so our human relationships should reflect this -- and this includes our friendships, as well. They should be holy, and loving. In all of our human relationships, we should strive to make them instruments of salvation and sanctification. We need to help one another grow closer to Christ.
Pray today for those seeking a loving relationship. Pray for those who are dating, that their relationships may be geared toward discerning a loving marriage. Pray for all marriages that they remain centered in Christ, strong and holy and pure. And pray for all of those suffering from broken relationships that they may find healing and reconciliation through the mercy of Christ, our Lord.
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374 | POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723