Fr Bob writes: In our first reading this weekend, from the book of Genesis, we learn some profound truths about God’s tireless care for us and desire to provide what brings us true fulfillment. Man is honored to name the animals as God forms them and brings them to him, an indication of his role in managing God’s creation. To name something or someone was an indication of authority and dominion over what was named … the reason, by the way, Jewish people were never permitted to speak God’s name.
Yet, man still lacks his perfect “mate.” None in the animal kingdom is worthy of him. Woman becomes the perfect partner “at last.” While some women today may believe that their outdoors=oriented husbands’ best friends are hunting dogs, this man, Adam, passed by dogs, horses, and all other animals, not finding any of them to be his suitable partner. So, God performs the first major surgery, putting the man under a general anesthetic while removing one of his ribs. Opium poppies have been farmed in the area of Sumeria along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers since around 4200 B.C., and evidence of its use as an anesthetic for a person to lose consciousness during a medical procedure is recorded in a papyrus dating from 1500 B.C. When the man recovered in post-op, he immediately applauded God for finally creating the perfect partner for him. The oneness indicated is more than biology for reproduction but rather a wholeness and complement of persons in marriage. “This one shall be called “woman,” for out of “her man” this one has been taken.”