Gen 2:18-24; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16
Marriage has been a mystery throughout human history. From the time immemorial philosophers have reflected on this mystery, poets have sung about it, and religious men have glorified it. They realized that marriage is a union of man and woman in physical, mental, religious and social realms.
In their attempt to give a convincing explanation for this mystery the wise men of the ancient past gave rise to many legends. According to a Greek legend,” The original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two, as they are now, but originally the man and woman were together. The primeval man was called Androgyne. He was round, his back and sides forming a circle; one head with two faces looking in opposite ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike; also four ears, two privy members, and the remainder to correspond.He could walk upright as men do now, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace. Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they dared to scale the heavens, and they made an attack on the gods.
The gods took council and Zeus discovered a way to humble their pride. So they decided to cut them in to two. After the division, the two parts of man (the Androgyne), desire for his other half. And that desire for the reunion takes place in marriage. So, the desire of one another is implanted within us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two.
The Biblical writer, reflecting about this mystery, in the presence of God, drew a different conclusion. He found that God created man and set him in the Garden of Aden. He was given everything; he was surrounded with beauty; he was surrounded with friendly animals; still man was gloomy, because he did not find any one like him. So God put him into a great sleep. He pulled out a rib from him and created a woman. When Adam saw her he declared. "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, .... Genesis 29:14.
Each of us, when separated, having one side only, is but the identure of a man, and is always looking for his other half....and when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself........the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the other's sight, “This charming fantasy springs from the feeling side of man, and puts into words the sense of longing that lovers experience.
Thus marriage brings about a physical union.
Secondly, marriage is the union of two minds. In marriage, two people with different mental abilities, with different IQ, with different talents come together. It is not an attempt to establish the superiority of one, but rather it is an attempt to complement the other. Once upon a time, a hailstorm and a turtle fell in love. "I can't live without you!" thought the hailstorm. "I feel so complete with you!" exclaimed the turtle. The turtle didn't notice the hailstorm's hail, and the hailstorm didn't see the turtle's shell because they were both blissfully happy.
But one day the turtle got angry and withdrew into its shell. This made the hailstorm explode in fury. Another day, the hailstorm first exploded in fury, which pushed the turtle into its shell.
Over time, the hailstorm hailed and the turtle turtled on a regular basis. There were fewer days when the two got along and felt connected, and more days when they found themselves isolated in their roles. This angered and disappointed both. And the space between them became empty and silent. Each thought that the other was at fault and that the other should change.
We find, in relationships, that couples complement each other. In order for the relationship to be balanced and whole, there is always one who is maximizing energy outward and one who is minimizing inward. If this does not happen in a marriage it is bound to fail. You should use your intelligence, talents, and reasoning to complete the other. What one doesn't have in the way of skills, the other one supplies. When one is struggling and feeling down their spouse is there to lift them up and love them and encourage them. Thus it will lead to mutual fulfillment.
Marriage is also a union of two spirits. They pray together and work for the realization of God, complementing one another.
Finally marriage is the union of two families. People who have lived in two different backgrounds; people who were brought up in two different customs and traditions come together bringing closer the two families.
Jesus affirms in today's Gospel that such an union that God has established between man and woman should never be separated. Jesus puts it simply, "What God has united, man must not divide."
It is a great lesson our society is in need of today. With the growing independence of man of woman economically, many couple fail to establish a strong bond in their mental and spiritual realms. It leads to unrest and consequent break down. But, Prayer is the only medicine to heal the differences and keep our families together.
May Jesus bless our families and keep them together.