FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION: WEEK FIVE
The Fifth Week of Ordinary Time: In Genesis God’s tells stories or “myths” to give his own answers to the basic questions of life. This week tells us humans are created, as equals, for relationship with God and others. We are in charge of creation, but subject to God, to whom we owe praise.
Invitation: To see ourselves and the world through God’s eyes.
Ask yourself in prayer and others in discussion, for each statement below: “Do you see this in the Scripture reading? What response does it invite?
Genesis 1:1-19 tells us the world isn’t just “there.” It was created by a Person
Genesis 1:20 to 2:4: Humans “have dominion” over the rest of creation, but not over persons. Persons, both men and women are equally in God’s image, created to relate to each other as “partners.”
Humans are the “stewards of creation” to foster life, not death. God wants humans, made in his likeness, to see “how good” all his creatures are and preserve them.
Only rational humans can recognize God’s design and intention in created beings. This makes praise an important part of our stewardship.
Genesis 2:4-17: Our lives draw meaning and value from the work we do, because it has value for the world.
God commanded leisure on the Sabbath to teach us that humans have a reason for existence above and beyond what we contribute to life on the planet: we are created for direct relationship with God: to know and praise, love and serve God.
God forbade humans to eat of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” because this could make them think they had the right to determine for themselves what is true and good. That is to make oneself the criterion, which is the essence of pride.
Genesis 2:18-25: God’s point in the “Adam’s rib” story is that Adam, recognizing Eve as the “same stuff” that he was, saw her as his equal, a partner.
Human beings are in the image of God because, like the Trinity, our being is not complete without relationship — which requires us to accept and share as equals.
Being in relationship makes the difference between loneliness and solitude.
Love begins with taking interest in others, affirming and praising the good in them.
Genesis 3:1-8: Sin makes us hide our true selves under “clothes” of reserve. Expressing our feelings or thoughts makes us vulnerable, but is essential to love
Genesis 3:9-24: The world is not what God made and intended it to be. Pain and suffering exist because the world is not in harmony with God.
This provides an answer to the problem of suffering, but too often people hear it too late, when their emotions make it impossible for them to accept it.
- Do I take for granted my existence? Should I thank God for it daily?
- What does praise add to life? How often do I praise God, others?
- Do I experience my value in working, interacting with God or both?
- What is good in the people I live with? Work with? Do I affirm it?
- Why do I sin? What am I really seeking, assuming, forgetting?
- Am I ready to accept loss, pain and suffering without blaming God?