5 February 2007. Monday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time
Genesis 1, 1-19: And it was good
The Genesis story is not to be read as a historical narration, as if it happened exactly as it was written. The Creation story in Genesis and the Philippines’ Si Malakas at si Maganda, are called myths in literary form. Myths carry with it a truth: the importance is what is being proclaimed: God is the source of all the creative process. It says that all creative processes such as growth and development are manifestations of the hand of God. If one sees a plant grow, it is God making it grow. If one sees the microscopic cells dividing, it is God working on it. If one witnesses the developmental stages of our sons or daughters, it is God who works on these stages. If species evolve as Charles Darwin puts it in his Theory of Evolution, then it is God continually re-creating His creation. Thus, everything existing is, as God said, “good.”
But among all of God’s creation, human beings comprise the one species God selected to bear His image, and therefore, each of us bears a divine image. Thus, Christians believe that every human person is basically good. This image, however, has been defaced by sin.
And therefore, we are tasked to restore what is divine in us. The Stoics believed this too. Seneca, the great Stoic, believes that each of us possesses a scintilla, a spark of God. And therefore, it is our work to let everyone see this spark of God. When we become good people, faithful and trusting of God, the sin that defaces and covers our beauty is peeled off from us.
A matter of perspective: God saw that it was good. Every tree, every drop of rain, every river, every person speaks to us of God. Gerard Manley Hopkins said: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” So, let us reflect on our attitudes: If God saw that all of creation as good, do we see creation the same way? If God Himself has placed His divine image on us, how do we regard people: are we too critical and distrusting of people; are we experts in finding faults in others? If we do, then we are not in the spirit of creation. Christians should see the goodness of others first; if we see the scintilla in others, then we will discover that our sins are just specks compared to the brighter light of God in us.
*my nephews, James and Joshua.