Communion and Mission

The first reading at Mass this morning was the Genesis account of the creation of a woman from the rib of the first man. When God brings the woman to the man, 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.” The passage goes on to say that “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.

Remarking on the passage during his homily, Fr. Dale suggested that the passage is about more than an account of the creation of the first couple, and that it says something that is relevant to all of us, not just to married persons.

Marriage, he suggested, is the ultimate model of communion – our communion with God and our communion with each other. Sacramental marriage embodies a union in which two people are so close they become one. He contrasted it with the celibate life of the clergy, which is the ultimate model of mission.

The point, though, is not that that married people have communion and clergy have mission, but that we are all called to both communion and mission. These institutions – marriage and celibacy – give us ultimate models, but both are meant to be models for each of us, regardless of our station: married or single, ordained or lay.

We are each called to lives of communion and mission.