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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

Februrary 12 A.D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Genesis 2:18-25
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Mark 7:24-30

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Among the expressions of love, is love marked by longing.

What is this? This is the soul searching, wanting a fulfillment that is unavailable without the “other.” Commentators on human love make note of the mutuality of longing, of souls seeking each other. Mystics tell of longing for God, the soul seeking its source.

God put this longing in the human heart. “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” Was God being funny when He created various wild animals and birds of the air and put them in front of the man who wanted a helpmate? Was He teasing the man as He brought these to him to see what they would be called? Or was God placing in the human heart the possibility of respect and care for creatures and the sustaining resources of the earth? God elevating the man to be aware that these are good but they are not enough?

The man longs. And God’s action to fulfill the longing is to create a helpmate and partner from the same stuff of life as the man. The man recognizes longing can be fulfilled. Love has a point. “This one, at last, is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of 'her man' this one has been taken. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24)

There is a possibility for the man and the woman -- to cultivate the longing so that it sustains love throughout a life and to create a mutual longing for God, the source of life and partner with them, God who shares the power of creation with man and woman. Little wonder such a sacred power is, in God’s plan, for expression in marriage, a place of holy longing.

Longing is a facet of love. In today's Gospel, a woman longs for her daughter’s wellness, for deliverance from demons. This desire fuels her resolve to risk rejection and ridicule to seek out the holy man, the strong man, the one people say casts out the power of hell. It is a longing so entrenched in her, so fueling her love, that she may be, I think, the one Jesus thought of when He told the parable of the woman who came to the judge over and over until the judge relented for fear she might kill him. Not of Jesus' race or tribe, she comes before Him and does not waiver. This is longing expressed in determined terms. The demons leave and the child is well.

This is a day to think about longing. Is the longing of my heart misguided, going out into the world for its things? Has the longing been disappointed in human relationships? How has healing been sought? Does this longing give rise to deeds that sustain others? Does this longing I have, seek its source in Eternal Love and Divine Mercy?

- Rev. Stephen H. Gratto
| email: smartins@frontiernet.net

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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