Sunday Reflection: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
(Gen 2:18-24 / Heb 2:9-11/ Mk 10:2-16)
We all make plans. We all have plans. We plan personally, or we plan as a group. We identify our objectives; we enumerate the means by which we arrive at those objectives; we chart a time frame; and then we decide on the date.
But experience would always tell us that sometimes, things don't go according to plan. That is why often we also prepare a back up plan, a Plan B so to speak. Just in case. Something that we pull off from our sleeves when things don't go as we would expect. We realize that there are things beyond our limited control.
When God created the world, he also had a plan, a very beautiful plan where things are in harmony as everyone else, and things would go as God would have wanted to. That's the very beautiful picture we find in our first reading for today from the Book of Genesis. God saw that man was not only alone but lonely. So God decided to put man to sleep, took one of his ribs which He formed into a woman. Seeing her the man said,
"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."
And the reading concludes that this is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and the two become one flesh. The book of Genesis provides us a picture of the plan of God into the world. In this case, the wonderful complimentarity between man and woman in a union which we now call marriage. Marriage affirms the original plan of complimentarity of sexes, a complimentarity that is exclusive, fruitful and enduring. It is exclusive because the marital unity of husband and wife excludes other "third" parties. It is fruitful because the complimentarity of sexes bears fruit in the birth of children to be raised by them. And it is enduring because their marital unity, joined by God, is geared towards the raising of these children given birth through them. An enduring character to which Jesus speaks in the Gospel today:
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.
We all live in a time where change is so rapid that what's timeless has become ephemeral, enjoyed only for a short time. A lot of young people nowadays ask whether there really is "forever" (mostly because of failed attempts at keeping things and people only to inevitably lose them). A lot of marriages end way too soon, the once sweet romance now only a guest from a distant past. We all try to make do with what we have, patching things up with whatever resource we can have in order to salvage whatever debris is left that's of still use. We blame our naive selves and vowing not to commit the same mistake again (and all too soon we fall in the same hole). We conceptualize Plan B, Plan C, Plan D way up to Plan Z. But have we considered again the Original Plan, the Plan A, which was there at the beginning?
Why are there even backup plans? All because of the hardness of our hearts. We insist on what we want, on what we know, and on what we do all unmindful that--in the beginning--God already has plans for us too! Yes, living in a world where mistakes, mishaps and misalignments are as common as the air we breathe, we sometimes become unmindful already of the Original Plan that was there at the beginning of the world. We all made mistakes, and we make the best of what we have. But perhaps it's also good to think back and walk towards the direction of the Master Plan that God has since time immemorial.