Dear St. Pat’s family,
The first reading for this Sunday’s liturgy is from the second chapter of Genesis. This is the second account of creation; the first one is found in chapter one. This book makes use of a language with which we are not familiar, and rightly so, because it was written hundreds of years before Christ. Certainly it made sense for the first audience. Despite the unique language, however, we need to make an extra effort to grasp the teaching. We know that the narrative’s goal is to give an account of God’s creation. I would like to pay particular attention to the creation of humanity.
In chapter two, after God created the first human being, he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” And in seeking a suitable partner, God brought into existence all of the other living creatures: wild animals, birds of the air, etc. After creating all of the animals, God noticed that none of them would be a suitable partner for the man. He knew that He needed to create another human being to be the companion for the first man.
The reading continues by saying that God cast the man into a deep sleep. While he was sleeping, God took out of him a rib and built it into a woman. After the first human being woke up, he immediately recognized the woman to be bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.
As ancient as this creation narrative from Genesis is, we can learn the following: from the beginning, God made us human beings; there is something essential which makes us different from animals; we are made to live in communion with each other and not alone.
Certainly all of the other living creatures are part of God’s creation, just like we are. It is very clear from Genesis, however, that we human beings were not the product of evolution. We were not animals and then human beings. From the beginning, we have been human beings, distinctive from all other creatures. What makes us distinctive from animals is our soul and our capacity to discern one’s actions through the will and intellect. Animals act out of instinct; we act out of reason.
God bless you all.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.