It Is Not Good For Man To Be Alone
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the fourth week of our series called STEPS we speak of being engaged in a small group, in a community that will help us to know God and to know ourselves. It is good timing as we prepare to announce our catechesis, or series of meetings, on what it means to be a Christian. In Genesis we see that God created everything to be good and he instructed our first parents to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. God did not do this as a punishment but as part of his plan of salvation for humanity.
We pick up the story today in chapter two of Genesis (2: 18-24) where we hear God say something is NOT good: that man should be alone. Adam has named all the animals which is something very significant for the Jewish people, but he is still alone. None of the animals were a suitable partner for him and did not meet his need for companionship. Adam is in need of human relationships, and so do you and I. Perhaps it has never been a strong point in your life and you may not even be aware that this is lacking.
Relationships are crucial for mental and emotional health. If this is true for our natural life it is even more so for our life of faith. When we do not have relationships that foster growth in faith we inhibit our spiritual growth. As long as you are alone in following Christ you cannot be all you could be as a disciple. You are limiting what the Lord wants to do for you and through you, and you may miss your God given mission. This is especially true today in a world which is so hostile to faith.
As we heard back in June even God belongs to a community of persons: Father, Son and Spirit. It is a model for all communities and groups, and especially the family. I know there is a lot of resistance to this idea since many people may think if I attend Sunday Mass I am already better than 75 percent of the people around me. However, over the years many people have mentioned they have been looking for a community which they never found in the Mass they attended. Honestly, how could they find it among a crowd of 100 or 200 people? Our vision for the parish is to be a community of communities where we can encounter Christ and lead others to him.
What is the purpose of marriage or of a community or of all of creation? From the words of the gospels you can say that it is “to be one” as Jesus and the Father are one. God put us here and did not leave us alone so that we become united with him and with one another through his Spirit. Another way to say it is everything exists in order to make atonement: to be at-one-with the other. To reconcile, to forgive to be united as the Father is with the Son and Spirit. This is in our DNA; he made us this way.
Through a small community the parish can care for you and look out for you, as a family. I may know hundreds of people but I cannot care for each one individually even if I did not sleep. Through a community, members of the parish care for one another, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is not about what you get but what you give to others without looking for anything in return. This is the most rewarding part of what we do here. I invite all of you to come and listen to the catechesis which starts on October 15th, an continues on Mondays and Thursday at 8 PM in the school auditorium, and let God lead you to himself.