We celebrate lots of weddings here at Sacred Heart. It is a young vibrant parish with young professionals forming about 1/4 of the households. Add to that a beautiful church and you will have lots of weddings!
I help prepare a good number of couples for marriage and one of the things I look forward to hearing is “How did you meet?” The stories are varied and many – and all interesting. Some knew each other from college or work. Some were introduced by friends. A couple of classic blind dates are in the mix, too. And of course, in a nod to modern, busy and complicated lives, a good many met via social media.In addition to the “How did you meet” question, I will ask “when did you know?” When did each of them have the first inkling or that immediate moment when they knew they had just met the one with whom they would spend the rest of their lives. Those narratives are varied and wonderful. You have the couples that eventually figured it out after 5+ years of dating along with the couples who each knew on the first date. A few have “the” magic moment after the start of dating when they each knew at the same moment of time. Most have some gap of time before each of them “knew.” I am always surprised when one knew absolutely on the first date, and yet had to patiently wait for the other to figure it out. It is like the old ballad (slightly modified) “It’s just too good to be true. Can’t take my eyes off of you” (Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons). One is completely enthralled and can’t take their eyes off of the other. The other one is skeptical, interested but skeptical – this is too good to be true. But Love will triumph and it all works itself out.
Then we come to the Book of Genesis and its story of the ultimate blind date:
The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her 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.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. (Genesis 2:18-24)
Granted that “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” is not the most romantic opening lines ever, but it is not like Adam had a lot of experience. He was pretty new at all this. Be that as it may, St. Pope John Paul II commented that in those words Adam recognized that at last – after naming all the animals – at last he found someone with whom he could share and build a life, and find the conditions for the possibility of being complete, made whole. It really is a lovely passage.
Obviously calling this encounter a “blind date” is a bit whimsical and one might expect some continuing whimsy (and you would be correct…). I have wondered if Adam plays the role on the blind date of the one immediately struck with wonder, awe and love. Perhaps that left Eve to play the skeptical one. You have to wonder if there was some semblance of thought that went something like this: “OK, nice, but I just got here. What are my options?”
Sadly Scripture does not recount Eve’s reaction, so feel free to work out your own imaginative next step. No worries: immediate or no, skeptical but interested, like lots of first dates Love will triumph and it all works itself out.