Monday, March 02, 2009

Bone of My Bone, Flesh of My Flesh: The Call of our Bodies is to Communion (TOTB Part I)

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us... so God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:26-27)

"God is love," the apostle John assures us, and love, in order to be love, must have an object, a beloved. When God creates humankind, He says, "let us make human beings to be like us" for even God is not singular, but a perfect union of three, bound in unity with love. Human beings were made to be like God, to enter into a communion of love. This is established in our creation as male and female. Thus we see the insight of Pope John Paul II's statement, "Man becomes the image of God, not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion."

In case we ever were to question the purpose of our existence, God gave us a roadmap that is no more distant than the body in which we dwell. Our bodies tell us that we were not meant to be alone. In union we are completed, in union we are whole. We were made, rightly so, with an intense craving for communion. God, the eternal communion of love, made us, according to Genesis 1:26, to be like Him, to share in the richness of love that existed before all time. So, lest we forget this, the call of humanity, the very call of our creation, was stamped on our body.

And, if the magazine rack by the grocery check-out line is any indication, our bodies have not forgotten their call. Yet, for all the many forms of sexual expression that are flaunted in our times, there is still an evident and powerful craving for the richness of an eternal communion of love. Something is wrong - we have traded something costly for something cheap - we have traded love for lust. (To be continued next time.)