Grace to you!
The Church introduces us to the message from The Book of Genesis. For the next two weeks, excluding Sundays, I will be reflecting on the message from Genesis.
It is important to state right away that we will follow the same style of which our reflections are known. It is not a scholarly exercise which tries to demonstrate the exegetical expertise of these biblical narratives. Rather, it applies exegetical method by looking at the relevance of the message for our spiritual journey. Following the spirit of the text, it does so shaped by the Catholic Christian spiritual tradition. The goal, as with our other reflections, is for a deeper spiritual life and walk with the Lord.
Genesis, as you may have known, is one of the first five books (Pentateuch) of the Judeo-Christian Bible. In the Hebrew Bible, it is called Bereshit,which is the first phrase that opens the message of the book “In the beginning.” In this book, for the most part written in narrative style, we are introduced to a religious message centered on the claim that creation—of the world, time, space, living beings and nature in general—is as a result of divine providence. It is not a book of science and should not be interpreted as a book of science. It is a religious message, rich in powerful, life-giving messages. To read that message in the spirit of which is was written, is to allow one’s life to be shaped by divine insight to the purpose of life.
We read how God brought order out of chaos, brought about the being of the realities of the heavens and the earth. All these through the instrument of His Word. We see how God speaks and God’s word results to life, nature and all there is.
This message is particularly important to a person of faith. As I read Genesis chapter one, my mind goes back to reflect on my life and the life of my loved ones. How do I see God in thinking about the time when I was conceived in my mother’s womb and throughout the course of my life? Understanding that from the beginning, as is with the beginning of time, God’s Word and grace is ordering things and God’s providence sets things in the state of being. This is encouraging to me.
Notice the sequence of that story of creation. There is order in chaos. There is light, night and day (Gn 1:3-5). There is the firmament or the atmosphere, the sky or if you will, the planetary bodies (Gn 1:5-8). There is the dry land and vegetation (Gn 1:9-13). Other creative acts of God include the luminaries —the sun, moon and the stars (Gen 1:14-19); birds and see animals (Gn 1:20-23); land creatures and human beings (Gn 1:24-31).
This message is to be understood in the religious sense. In it all one sees the hand of providence. The same God who creates (barain Hebrew), and who does not need any material stuff to make His word come true, is the one who has ordered your life also.
For me, it means I approach my life and purpose in life with confidence in divine providence. I do not approach my life as a stroke of chance or accidental occurrences. I see meaning in what I do and my being. I see hope in things around me. I do so because I know the Creator God lives and His Word comes true, not just in the outer space or nature, but in me too.
Belief in creation is belief in life with the ordering of providence. It is belief in life moving towards the ultimate fulfillment and perfection. It is hope-filled life. It is life with ultimate purpose.
I pray that God, the creator, would instill in our hearts confident trust in Divine Providence. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 5 Ordinary Time: Gn 1:1-19; Mk 6:53-56]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.