Scripture: Genesis 1:1-19. Psalm 104:1-2,5-18.104.22.168.35. Mark 6:53-56.
Lectionary # 329:
Today we start our liturgical reading from the fascinating book of Genesis. We will follow the mighty acts of God’s creation and the beginning of the history of humankind from a theological and biblical point of view, not a scientific or strict historical perspective. Rather our story with God and our relationship with the Creator begins and will continue throughout the Bible as we learn about this relationship through others who have gone through it. The inspired writers of each book will give us God’s messages of love framed in covenantal fidelity and kindness on God’s part. We will see how we respond to the life that God has given us and it all begins theologically and spiritually with this masterpiece called Genesis.
Someone who is connected with temple worship is responsible for handing down this scroll for us. He would therefore be telling the story from the point of view of what can be called the Priestly Tradition soon to be followed by the more popular Yahwist Tradition in chapter two. Therefore, in this first chapter we should keep in mind the liturgy of light, life, and symbols used in the temple as we hear the days tumble forth from the fingers of God. This great narrative of our story will be sung or recited in a more solemn manner during the Easter Vigil when we reread the stories of creation and redemption. We start a new meditation today as we mull over the meaning of this first creation account.
God’s creation is totally good and God is magnanimous in how this creation unfolds. We need to assert with God that all that came about was good. It is an optimistic creation story that should help us to be positive in our approach to the days we enjoy here on earth. The beauty of each day has us reflecting on that dimension of God’s creative acts of love. The covenant soon to come will demand our positive response to seeing and knowing we were made very good, in fact, made in the lmage and likeness of God. Our God is goodness personified and creation is God’s gift of love and life to us.
Our concern for the environment and for the eco-systems should come to mind as we read these pages of Genesis. We are particpators in God’s creation and are to be responsible to keep the gifts of each of the first six days in the best possible order such as they were given to us. No small task as we well know. The Psalm is a creation hymn and merits our attention in union with the creative activity of God.
This following paragraph is taken from a liturgical book used for preparing the liturgy of the synagogue: “The Torah assumes the existence and overwhelming power of God. We find here no myth of God’s birth, as we find in other cultures’ accounts of creation, only a description of God’s actions. It seems that the Torah is saying, “This is the premise on which the rest stands. Only if you accept it is everything that follows intelligible.” God created the world, blessed it with the capacity to renew and reproduce itself, and deemed it “good.” This is the answer to the basic and inevitable questions: Why is there something instead of nothing? Why is there life instead of inert matter?” (From Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, p. 3). Amen.
Copyright 2009 Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM