FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION:
Week 6 of Ordinary Time
The Sixth Week of Ordinary Time tells us God the Creator wills life, not death. And so should we, being made in his image and consecrated “stewards of creation.”
Invitation: To enhance life on earth in every way we can.
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 4:1-25: If we kill anyone, we need to be aware that it is our brother or sister we are killing. We are called to love and care for all as brothers and sisters.
God continues to give life because he looks at his creation and still sees “how good it is.” We need to have faith in the basic goodness of human nature.
Genesis 6:5 to 7:10: The flood story tells us that no matter how corrupt the human race becomes God will not destroy us or anything he has made. We can never conclude from sins that human nature is just bad. Individuals can be different.
In the Flood story survival is due to two things: God’s own loving intervention, and human willingness to follow his directions out of faith in his word.
Genesis 8:6-22: Nature has and follows laws because there is Someone in control. “Natural disasters” are not disasters in themselves, but only for people who happen to have installed themselves where they are bound to occur.
Genesis 9:1-13: The point is not whether God actually wiped out people in a flood, but that God says destroying humanity is something he will never do. Killing is inconsistent with God’s character as Creator.
We who are in the image of God the Creator, are expected to make the planet life-friendly. We are in charge, and our first concern should be life.
Genesis 11:1-9: In our technological culture we think that whatever we can do we have a right to do— from nuclear warfare to biogenetics.
People motivated by pride and ambition are bound to fight. When they do, they have to separate. The result is a fragmented world, destructive to human life.
Hebrews 11:1-7: Three exemplary figures from Genesis encourage us to live by faith in the invisible truths we learn from God’s word. To benefit from God’s words, we have to Read, Reflect and Respond. And do all of these with faith.
If the Genesis story did nothing else, it should move us to praise. People who do not know the world was created have lost the capacity to praise anyone for it.
- What does God’s view teach me about life and death?
- Do I believe God teaches me personally through Scripture?
- Am I aware that God’s fidelity is the source of stability in nature?
- Do I feel responsible for fostering and enhancing all life on earth?
- What causes division in your world? What would overcome it?
- What does faith add to the visible world that moves you to praise?