Bible Study – Genesis, Chapters 1 to 3 (Part 2 of 4)

What does Genesis 1 tell you about the nature and purpose of the world and the things around us?

Dear God, the nature of the world was good.  That was your original intention.  The things that surround us now were supposed to be good.  Humanity, represented by Adam, was supposed to be the crowning achievement.  Our task was to take care of your creation and have lots of babies.  This means we use our intelligence, the wisdom we gain in life, to do what is best for all of your creation, not just for myself, my family, or my community.  Our responsibility is for all of your creation.  The purpose of the world was to be your delight, for your glory – but that means we are supposed to take delight, too.  Our purpose, as your crowning achievement, was to be happy together, to love each other, and to look after the world.

The Creation of Mankind

The creation of mankind is told twice, in Genesis 1:26-31 and 2:4-25.  Read both accounts, paying close attention to Genesis 1:27.

What does it mean to be created in God’s image?  Read also Catechism Nos. 356-358 [link to USCCB website’s CCC].

We are amazing creatures because we were created in your image, God.  CCC 356 says right on the first line, “Of all visible creatures only man is ‘able to know and love his creator.'”  We were called to share in your life, Lord.  And, I can share in your life if I know who you are and love you.  Just as I share my life with Anne Marie through acts of love (self-sacrifice), I share in your life by the sacrifice of your Son.  Oh, Lord!  Bless you.  CCC 357 teaches me that men and women are your only creatures “who are capable of self-knowledge, self-possession, and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons.”  Dear God, you call me by grace to respond with faith and love that no other creature can give in my place.

What does “male and female he created them” add to your understanding of the image in which we are created?  For help with this question, read Catechism Nos. 362-373.

CCC 365 made me think about the unity of body and soul.  It’s not two natures united.  Just as the words typed in a book are not a separate nature from the book, so is our soul is not a separate nature from our body.  The words in a book are what makes a particular book unique.  In the same way, my soul is what makes me unique as a human individual.  Unlike books, there are no duplicates.  Each individual person is truly unique and there are no copies.

CCC 371 gets to the point of the question.  “God created man and woman together and willed each for the other.  Dear God, you tried to give your other creatures to be man’s partner, but they were not enough.  Neither Adam nor Eve were half-made.  But you made man and woman for each other so that we can freely choose to be in communion.  When we find that one person, we should cry out in wonder: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”  The bones/bones and flesh/flesh shows that man and woman are equal as persons.  I cried out as such when you gave me Anne Marie.  Through marriage, you make Anne Marie and I into “one flesh.”  By transmitting life to our daughter, Maya, and to our second daugther to come, we participate in your creation.  We are your co-creators.

 

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