TOB Tuesday: Creation of Man
We have gone to the beginning, and there we find the creation of man. Two accounts nogal, one is Elohist and the other Yahwist. We learn that the second account is the earlier one, the Yahwist account as it uses the name Yahweh. The first one is from the Priestly tradition using the name Elohim, thus more thought out and revealing of God’s nature. We learn that the earth is created for man by God, for man to go forth and subdue it and procreate. Man is created at a pinnacle time, not in succession like the rest of creation but after God took a pause… “Let us create man in our image, in our likeness” (Gen1:27).
The Elohist account, the more mature one, defines man according to his relationship to God – as an image of God – thus not as of the world – not as a mere creature but like God. We image God in that we have reason, intellect and will and our spirit likens God’s spirit. He breathed into us the spirit of life after forming us from dust, from nothing. So even though we have bodies… and boy do we have bodies… we cannot be reduced to just our bodies. It is an objective account, giving fact – created male and female, in the image of God and sent forth to be fruitful and multiply. Then there was a whole bunch on incontrovertible metaphysics that lost me… something about ‘being’ and ‘good’ being convertible… oh well LOL.
Then we shared – about sharing in the inspiration. We should not worry so much about how far we are from God and heaven that is the ideal and just because we are far we should not think we have failed. Does one aim for distinctions or just to pass –> hopefully for distinctions. We need to study scripture to get to a point of ”I cant live this on my own, I need God” the point of salvation, where the human and the divine meet. We live heaven everyday by calling out “God I need you, I am a sinner” so the text helps us for it gives us another standard, God’s standard and the world baseline is not the standard. And we can show other this standard, this truth by living it and not harping about it and bashing it in. You cant have compassion without truth, but you can teach the truth compassionately.
Having an abortion after rape does not make it better or OK, it’s a double trauma, and why emphasize on the sin of homosexuality more than that alcoholism? When it comes to premarital sex and homosexuality both are wrong. Though the former is true to the attribute of who we are, it is still morally wrong. Homosexuality also then also has the extra attribute of being disordered; even if society tries to tell you that there is no difference whether or not I have sex with a male or a female. So why are others born homosexual, blind etc.? To show the greater glory of God, just likes this weeks gospel were Jesus heals the blind man.
Someone then asked how we can be compassionate when we meet ‘evil’? How do we show compassion when there is paedophilia, alcoholism, murder? We are all made to love, willing the good of the other, and if one you loved lived a way contrary to their own fulfilment and happiness we could do our best to bring them out of it. Our obligation as Christians is to be a light to the world, to hold up to the nations the light of Christ through our love not our judgement. We need to tell the world the truth so they know it.
MG gave an analogy of poison in the cup. He said if there is poison in a cup on a table and there are 3 persons A, B and C. ‘A’ knows its poison and will not drink it no matter how pretty attractive of good smelling it is or whatever promise of euphoria it promises. ‘B’ knows its poison and drinks it anyway coz it tastes oh so good and cannot resist the temptation of ecstasy. C does not know it is poison and drinks it because it tastes all so good. Will not both C and B die? They will regardless of whether or not C knew it was poison it will still kill him. So it is with sin, just because it looks oh so good, is oh so pleasurable does not matter how you dress it up, it’s wages are death. And ‘A’ should do his best to let ‘C’ know that it is poison, not in a judgemental way in a compassionate way, now there’s a doozy!
How do we teach the truth without saying “In the bible it says…”, how do we not bible bash? Henri Nouwen is a philosopher and I have his name in my notes so if what I am attributing to him is false let me know. He says … saying “In the bible it says” is not Catholic. We live in a Protestant country influenced by Protestant thought. The bible only came into being 400AD or so. So how did the apostles and disciples teach and evangelise before then? They went out and argued and lived the common sense of the truth of Christ. So we argue and live thus when it comes to TOB, that we have infinite dignity because we are created in His image, therefore no one has the right to take that life away.
We use natural law to help us present a reasoned argument of what is morally right and wrong. We use the truth because the truth speaks to the heart. Like the apostles drew from the resurrection power of Christ and went out to make disciples so too should we draw from His resurrection. Mass, prayers, spiritual reading are all ways of nourishing our reserves and of allowing ourselves to draw from the resurrection experience like the apostles did. The bible is not a manual of how to’s, but a nourisher to allow for reasoning and to come to a conclusion.
But then if we all decide a conclusion, what is law? Because our reasoning is all different? Then what is the word of God? Reasoning will go wrong without the Holy Spirit and without nourishment, its the truth of God that the Holy Spirit guarantees – and the gates of hell will not persist over it. There is only ONE story of Jesus Christ, not 2, not 20, not thousands; one story of Christ and the resurrection and the WHOLE story is within the WHOLE bible.
Moral of today’s session: We all have the capability to love and hence that is our universal calling.