Monday, February 07, 2011

This side of creation

For some odd reason, the Year 1 Mass readings hopped over the weekend from the end of Hebrews to the beginning of Genesis. That always catches me off guard--which can be a good thing: taken by surprise, my expectations are also elsewhere, so a reading (or a "chance" meeting, or an odd passage in a book) can deliver more than it would have if I had been ready for it.
"In the beginning... and God said, 'Let there be light. God saw how good it was. Evening came and morning followed, the first day."
As I read those very familiar words (the reading took us halfway through, to the end of the fourth day with the creation of the "lights in the sky"), I was struck at how slowly the story unfolds. It is as if the Bible were saying that God really took his time with this creation project. I would have done things so differently! Light. (Check.) Sky. (Check.) Land/Sea (Check and Check.) God didn't resort to multi-tasking, either. (There was no reason for the earth not to bring forth an abundance of green plants while God was dealing with the lights in the dome of the sky.) Instead, it was as if each "day" there was a whole new project, a new idea. And God was not only not in a rush to get it all done, God went about the process deliberately, leaving lots of time simply to contemplate "how good it was" and to enjoy it. That's what the Responsorial Psalm highlights, too: "May the Lord be glad in his works!"

It's an invitation to joy and enjoyment; to work and to contemplation. And it comes most appropriately for us on a Monday, as we resume our work.

No comments: