Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
1st Reading: Genesis 2:18-24 Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-6
2nd Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11 Gospel: Mark 10:2-16
It is not good for the man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18)
Doesn’t it sound as if God created Adam and then noticed that something was missing? Maybe he realized that this man needed a partner, and so he decided to take one of his ribs and build another one like him.
Of course, we know that God didn’t make a mistake. He created our first parents exactly as he wanted to. By saying, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” he was stating an eternal truth: we were made to be together. We were made for community.
This fundamental eternal truth is why men and women get married. It’s why they have children. It’s why we have neighborhoods, parishes, sports arenas, and restaurants. We need each other! God has given all of us the desire to give of ourselves to each other. And we need to receive other people into our lives in order to feel human.
This is why it is so painful when a marriage ends in divorce. We have given so much to each other—and in so intimate a way—that we feel betrayed, rejected, and alone. Deep in our hearts, we understand that it is not good to be alone, and so we hurt.
If your marriage is going well, praise God! Keep on loving and caring for each other.
If your marriage is struggling, don’t give up! Let other people help you—maybe your pastor, an older role model, or a counselor. You don’t have to struggle on your own, and neither does your spouse.
If you are divorced, reach out! Your story isn’t over. God hasn’t rejected you. He never stopped loving you. There are people around ready to help you—people through whom you can feel Jesus’ love and presence.
God doesn’t want any of us to walk alone. Not only is he walking right beside you; he has sent people to walk with you as well. He loves you too much to abandon you.
“Jesus, thank you for my friends and family. Lord, reach out to every lonely person, and show them that they are never alone.”
Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion:
1. The first reading begins with these words: The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” It ends by describing God’s eternal purpose for marriage between a man and woman: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.”
- In what way is God’s eternal plan and purpose for marriage a call to unity in love and respect?
- How would you describe how this “unity” is carried out within marriage?
- If you are married, what steps can you take to improve unity, deepen your relationship, and deal better with anger or conflict?
2. The Responsorial Psalm opens with these words: Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table.
- The Lord promises blessings to those “who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways” (Psalm 128:1). What do you think it means to “fear the Lord”? What do you think it means to “walk in his ways”?
- How important is the support of your parish, and the support of brothers and sisters in Christ, in doing this?
3. In the second reading, we hear these words: Brothers and sisters: He “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers.”
- The reading tells us that Jesus tasted “death for everyone” and that he was “made perfect through suffering.” What do these words mean to you?
- The reading ends by saying that Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers (and sisters) (Hebrews 2:11). Reflect on the magnitude of this statement. How does the truth of it impact you?
4. In the Gospel reading, Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ question on divorce: From the beginning of creation, 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.
- In what way does Jesus’ words remind us of the great importance God places on the Sacrament of Marriage, which has always been part of his eternal plan for men and women?
- We all know that because of human weakness and sin, marriages can often be beset by many difficulties, and couples often need healing and forgiveness. Whether married or single, what steps can you to take to offer forgiveness, even if you believe that you are the one who was wronged?
5. The meditation is a reflection on the first reading and these words from the reading: It is not good for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). The reflection reminds us that “He (God) created our first parents exactly as he wanted to. By saying, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone,’ he was stating an eternal truth: we were made to be together. We were made for community. … We need each other! God has given all of us the desire to give of ourselves to each other. And we need to receive other people into our lives in order to feel human. The meditation ends with these words: “God doesn’t want any of us to walk alone. Not only is he walking right beside you; he has sent people to walk with you as well. He loves you too much to abandon you.”
- What is your reaction to the following words from the meditation? “By saying, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone,’ he (God) was stating an eternal truth: we were made to be together. We were made for community… We need each other! …God doesn’t want any of us to walk alone.”
- Do you agree with the basic premise of these words that we, as Catholic Christians, need to journey together with other Christians, and not as “lone ranger Christians”? If so, how are you doing? Are there some additional steps you can take to build deeper relationships with others within and outside your parish?
Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord to show you how you can reach out more to members of your parish, your family and friends, and others — that all of us may bear witness to Jesus’ great love. Use the prayer below from the end of the meditation as the starting point.