Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flesh of my flesh

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
 – Genesis 2:21-22
This article is about something that came to me as I was in prayerful meditation and trying to be close to God. I was contemplating something which I heard a priest say about the creation of Eve from Adam's rib. And it was as if I could feel that empty space in my own side. For me, alas, I have not found that one that I can call "flesh of my flesh". But, for now at least, that space is filled with my love for God.

The priest brought special attention to the fact that God put Adam into a deep sleep before removing one of his ribs. It was almost as if Adam had died and then been brought back to life. And that made me think of Christ on the Cross; and the soldier piercing his side after he had died. And then I thought about the blood and water. And so I thought there must be some connection with Eve; the blood and water must be the sign of the Church. But in what way? Well, water is the sign of baptism and Christ's blood is the sign of the Eucharist. Two Holy Sacraments.

I decided to search online to see if this was an original thought. I suspected that it couldn't be. It seemed so obviously clear once it was explained. Well I found the exact same description and here it is.
“There flowed from his side water and blood”. Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolized baptism and the holy eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, “the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit”, and from the holy eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam. Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: “Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!” As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.
What is even more amazing for me is that this was written by St. John Chrysostom in the 4th century. We just recently celebrated his feast day on September 13.


St John Chrysostom, pray for us

No comments:

Post a Comment