Catholic Verses – Bible Meditation #0001 – Genesis 1 – It’s all good


Impromptu Meditations on the Word of God.

Transcript

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0:03 this is the new American Bible the Old
0:06 Testament read by Eric Martin the book
0:09 of Genesis the primeval history chapter
0:12 one first story of creation there are
0:16 two creation stories so even before one
0:19 word was said of the first burst of the
0:21 first chapter of Genesis were prepared
0:23 for paradox this is this is going to be
0:26 with us through the whole Bible and I
0:27 think it’s important to keep in mind
0:29 that the writers and the compilers of
0:30 the Bible were not stupid and they knew
0:32 what a contradiction was and they were
0:34 no more willing to accept genuine
0:36 contradiction than you or I in the
0:39 beginning when God created the heavens
0:41 and the earth the earth was a formless
0:44 wasteland and darkness covered the abyss
0:46 while a mighty wind swept over the
0:48 waters the most important thing to take
0:51 from this first line is that God created
0:54 the universe he created it out of
0:56 nothing and there’s a lot of poetic
0:58 language here about what that might have
1:00 looked like giving form to the formless
1:03 giving shape to the shapeless dividing
1:05 things separating things we’re going to
1:06 see a lot of imagery like this but the
1:08 basic idea is that God created
1:10 everything out of nothing that’s the
1:12 essential takeaway here philosophically
1:14 then God said let there be light and
1:17 there was light God doesn’t need light
1:20 but he created light for his creation it
1:23 is fascinating to think about that there
1:26 was no physical light before the
1:27 creation of the universe but God is
1:28 light God’s the light of reason and we
1:30 still in our intellects we have the
1:32 light of God we don’t have a natural
1:34 light in our minds we have a
1:36 supernatural light in our minds we don’t
1:37 have a created light in our intellects
1:40 we have an uncreated light in our
1:43 intellects and that light is God God saw
1:46 how good the light was God then
1:48 separated the light from the darkness a
1:50 lot of atheists are fond of ridiculing
1:53 religion and saying how divisive it is
1:54 well yeah it is divisive God divided the
1:57 light from the darkness and we have to
1:58 choose I hope we choose wisely choose
2:01 God choose life God called the light day
2:03 and the darkness he called night thus
2:07 evening came and morning followed the
2:10 first day so here we have the idea
2:13 of timekeeping of the daily rhythm of
2:15 life there is day there is night of
2:17 course there’s the symbolic value of day
2:19 and night and we feel a certain
2:21 trepidation in the night time and we
2:23 feel a certain sense of hope of the
2:25 coming dawn that light first breaks and
2:28 we all experience this on different
2:31 levels God knows God has a plan and God
2:34 designed us he gave us a human nature
2:36 that corresponds with the reality of the
2:39 physical universe that it created and
2:40 the reality of the supernatural
2:42 spiritual world as well we tend to take
2:45 it for granted that there’s day and
2:46 night but before God created the
2:48 universe there were no days there were
2:49 no weeks there were no months there were
2:51 no years there were no seasons but God
2:53 created this orderly universe and he
2:55 ordained that there would be seconds and
2:58 minutes and hours and days when the Sun
3:01 reaches high noon it’s at its zenith
3:03 there is no argument against that it’s
3:06 at its high point it’s rising it peaks
3:08 and it begins to fall and goes down
3:10 toward the other horizon so God is well
3:13 aware of all the relations that are
3:16 possible in his well ordered universe
3:18 and he’s aware that we have a certain
3:20 freedom to call high noon by whatever
3:23 term we want but he knows the
3:25 significance that’s built into that and
3:28 the scientist that’s pursuing the truth
3:30 vows to that reality the honest
3:33 scientist submits to the reality of high
3:35 noon that the Sun rises in the east and
3:39 sets in the west and during the course
3:42 of that movement that relative movement
3:45 in our sky it does reach a high point
3:48 and we give that special name I think
3:53 it’s important to distinguish the hard
3:55 realities of relation that exists in
3:58 this universe there’s well ordered
4:00 universe and the freedom that we have
4:03 culturally and the wiggle room that we
4:06 have in terms of categorization I don’t
4:09 think there’s anything particularly
4:11 sacred about an hour having 60 minutes I
4:14 could be wrong but what we can’t deny
4:17 are the rhythms of the motions of the
4:19 heavenly bodies and how our planet
4:21 participates in those heavenly motions
4:24 and we can’t deny the absolute
4:26 and eternal fixed relations that are
4:29 described by those heavenly motions and
4:31 by which those heavenly motions can be
4:33 described by the scientist then God said
4:36 Let there be a dome in the middle of the
4:39 waters to separate one body of water
4:41 from the other and so it happened God
4:45 made the dome and it separated the water
4:47 above the dome from the water below it
4:49 God called the dome the sky evening came
4:52 and morning followed the second day then
4:56 God said let the water under the sky be
4:59 gathered into a single basin so that the
5:02 dry land may appear it’s almost as
5:05 though the division in the vertical of
5:07 the waters above in the waters below and
5:08 then the horizontal division from the
5:11 waters and the dry land it’s almost like
5:14 a great sign of the Cross from above to
5:16 below and then from side to side it
5:19 seems very likely to me that that would
5:21 be one of the many layers of meaning in
5:23 that division of the waters but god only
5:26 knows and so it happened the water under
5:29 the sky was gathered into its basin and
5:32 the dry land appeared God called the dry
5:35 land the earth and the basin of the
5:37 water he called the sea god saw how good
5:41 it was then God said let the earth bring
5:45 forth vegetation every kind of plant
5:48 that bears seed and every kind of fruit
5:50 tree on earth that bears fruit with its
5:53 seed in it poems are made by fools like
5:56 me would only God can make a tree it
5:58 really is a fascinating picture that’s
6:00 being painted in Genesis that damp soil
6:04 will feed the first plants and those
6:08 plants will feed the first animals and
6:11 so it happened the earth brought forth
6:13 every kind of plant that bear seed and
6:16 every kind of fruit tree on earth that
6:18 bears fruit with its seed in it as soon
6:21 as we have life we have this notion of
6:23 fruitfulness we have this notion of
6:25 you’ve received freely your life and you
6:27 give freely your life the first plants
6:30 take their nutrients from the earth and
6:32 they produce seeds and fruit and give it
6:34 back to the earth and later we’ll see
6:37 how these fruits and seeds will feed the
6:39 higher form
6:40 of life but even now looking at the
6:43 plant life how selflessly and how freely
6:47 they give back everything they have
6:49 they’ve received and they don’t abort
6:52 they don’t sterilize themselves they
6:56 bear fruit they bear seed and they give
6:58 it back to the earth this is the order
7:02 of nature this is the way that God
7:03 ordained creation he gave life freely
7:07 and we have to give that life the way
7:09 the plants do if they hold on to their
7:12 seed if they hold on to their fruit it’s
7:14 nothing but raw and beautification it
7:17 will kill the plant and it won’t be good
7:19 for anyone this part of the Genesis
7:22 story is germinal it really is seminal
7:24 literally and metaphorically God saw how
7:28 good it was evening came and morning
7:31 followed the third day then God said let
7:36 there be lights in the Dome of the sky
7:38 to separate day from night let the mark
7:41 the fix times the days and the years and
7:44 service luminaries in the dome of the
7:46 sky to shed light upon the earth and so
7:49 it happened God made the two great
7:52 lights the greater one to govern the day
7:54 and the lesser one to govern the night
7:57 and he made the stars God set them in
8:00 the dome of the sky to shed light upon
8:02 the earth to govern the day and the
8:05 night and to separate the light from the
8:07 darkness we see that these lights have a
8:10 governing role they govern us the Sun
8:14 and the moon have authority over us we
8:16 need to submit to them in the day we can
8:19 be joyful if we’re free from sin and if
8:21 we’re in God’s grace we thank God we
8:23 look to the Sun and we thank God and if
8:26 we’ve offended our Lord we go to marry
8:28 that’s the night that’s the moon that’s
8:30 softer reflected light so this imagery
8:34 can be applied on many many different
8:36 levels psychologically spiritually at
8:39 the very extreme case we could say that
8:42 no one looks directly at the Sun no one
8:45 with the one exception of Mary Mary of
8:47 course being the one that reflects the
8:49 light of her son but none of us can look
8:51 directly at the Sun none of us can go
8:53 directly to Jesus we all are sinners and
8:55 we’re all imperfect and the Justice the
8:58 perfect justice of Jesus would overwhelm
9:01 us were it not for the mercy and the
9:03 gentleness of the moon who is Mary so we
9:07 need to know who we are we need to know
9:09 what state were in we need to
9:11 acknowledge reality this is called
9:12 humility humility which takes its route
9:16 from the name for the earth so we see in
9:20 the Genesis creation story the first
9:22 creation story we see the water and the
9:24 earth and the life that Springs from
9:28 that the plant life and eventually the
9:30 animal life and then finally the human
9:32 life but we’re humbled we go back to the
9:36 earth we come from the earth we go back
9:39 to the earth this is humility we need to
9:40 know who we are what we are and who our
9:43 Creator is and the order that that
9:45 creator made for us for our good for
9:48 ultimate happiness so we need to know
9:50 that we come from the earth and they
9:52 were destined to go back to the earth
9:53 and we need to know that we come from
9:56 God and we’re ultimately destined to go
9:58 back to God God saw how good it was
10:01 evening came and morning followed the
10:04 fourth day then God said let the water
10:09 team with an abundance of living
10:10 creatures and on the earth let birds fly
10:13 beneath the dome of the sky and so it
10:15 happened God created the great sea
10:18 monsters and all kinds of swimming
10:20 creatures with which the water teams and
10:22 all kinds of wing to birds God saw how
10:26 good it was and God blessed them saying
10:28 be fertile multiply and fill the water
10:31 of the Seas and let the birds multiply
10:34 on the earth evening came and morning
10:37 followed the fifth day there’s an
10:40 emphasis here on the diversity the
10:43 complexity of life the variety of life
10:45 the sheer volume of life these creatures
10:48 that are monstrous because they
10:50 demonstrate God’s power and God’s plan
10:53 for us and the order of the spiritual
10:55 and physical universe in the 21st
10:58 century we’re discovering constantly
11:00 discovering new hideous monstrous
11:02 creatures beautiful creatures that live
11:05 of at previously inaccessible depths in
11:07 the sea in the ocean there’s so many
11:09 documentaries about nature and animals
11:11 it’s an endlessly fascinating topic
11:13 because there’s always a demonstration
11:14 of God’s power and his justice and his
11:16 mercy and the order this well ordered
11:18 universe and we need to look at where we
11:21 fit into that creation to find the true
11:24 meaning of our life then God said let
11:27 the earth bring forth all kinds of
11:29 living creatures cattle creeping things
11:32 and wild animals of all kinds and so it
11:35 happened God made all kinds of wild
11:38 animals all kinds of cattle and all
11:40 kinds of creeping things of the earth
11:42 God saw how good it was then God said
11:45 let us make man in our image after our
11:49 likeness let them have dominion over the
11:52 fish of the sea the birds of the air and
11:54 the cattle and over all the wild animals
11:57 and all the creatures that crawl on the
11:59 ground there’s a connection being made
12:01 between the land animals the cattle and
12:03 our dominion over the earth that there
12:07 is a hierarchy in the animal kingdom and
12:09 that we can clothe ourselves with the
12:11 skins of animals we can drink the milk
12:14 and we can eat the flesh of certain
12:16 animals these were made for us and even
12:20 the mention of the creepy things the
12:22 creepy crawlies we can see them as an
12:26 enemy to our crops we can see them as a
12:28 food source just like John the Baptist
12:30 eating locusts we can see them as an
12:32 omen with Pharaoh the plagues so we see
12:37 a blessing and a curse we see a blessing
12:39 with the cattle we see an idea of
12:41 self-discipline John the Baptist
12:43 chastising his body eating nothing but
12:45 wild honey and locusts and we see the
12:47 punishment also here in the idea of the
12:50 plague it’s coming for Pharaoh and a
12:52 plague that’s coming for all of us that
12:53 don’t submit to God it’s one nature it’s
12:57 one set of creatures we can be plagued
13:00 by the locust or we can eat the locust
13:02 we need to choose we need to it’s that
13:04 it’s again it’s that division we’re
13:07 being prepared here that all of nature
13:10 is ordered to our salvation and there
13:12 are choices we will make and that these
13:15 choices will have consequences and this
13:17 we need to bear this
13:18 this story in mind when looking at the
13:21 entire Bible because it has a symbolic
13:23 value ultimately for our salvation God
13:25 created man in His image in the divine
13:28 image he created him male and female he
13:31 created them he made humans in His image
13:34 and likeness and part of that entails
13:38 this supernatural light the light of
13:40 reason god blessed them saying be
13:42 fertile and multiply fill the earth and
13:46 subdue it have dominion over the fish of
13:48 the sea the birds of the air and all the
13:51 living things that move on the earth God
13:54 also said seen I give you every
13:57 seed-bearing plant all over the earth
13:59 and every tree that has seed-bearing
14:01 fruit on it to be your food and to all
14:04 the animals of the land all the birds of
14:06 the air and all the living creatures
14:07 that crawl on the ground I give all the
14:10 green plants for food and so it happened
14:13 God looked at everything he had made and
14:15 he found it very good evening came and
14:19 morning followed the sixth day so we see
14:23 in the six days of creation that
14:26 everything is well ordered that man has
14:28 been given Dominion we see day by day
14:31 that God approves of his creation of
14:33 course he does he is perfect day one was
14:36 good day two was good day three was good
14:39 day for was good day five was good at a
14:43 six he assessed all six days as very
14:46 good what God saw is what he sees right
14:51 now right now as you’re listening to
14:53 this God is seeing his creation and he
14:55 is saying it is very good from God’s
14:58 perspective it is all good it’s all good
15:03 because of the ontological goodness of
15:06 his creation it’s all good because of
15:09 the good gifts he gives us His grace
15:12 it’s all good in spite of our failings
15:16 our weakness and our sin it’s all good
15:18 in spite of all of the evils that flow
15:21 as a natural consequence of original sin
15:24 and actual sin we are sinners we need to
15:27 acknowledge that we’re sinners and we
15:30 need to understand that from
15:31 perspective he’s seen our since before
15:35 we were even conceived in our mothers
15:37 wombs he knew that we would fail that we
15:40 would fall short he knew that he saw the
15:44 course of your life from the beginning
15:46 to the end and he declared it very good
15:48 he has seen it and he has declared it
15:51 very good because of his good grace
15:54 because of his good gifts and because of
15:56 your ontological goodness and in spite
15:59 of the evil that you choose and the evil
16:02 that you did choose and the evil that
16:04 you will choose he sees all of it and he
16:08 declares it all very good why because
16:11 he’s all-powerful there’s no sin that
16:13 can upset his tranquility there’s no
16:16 evil that can Mar his beauty nothing can
16:19 tamper with his well ordered universe
16:22 there are real consequences to sin
16:26 suffering Israel pain is real he doesn’t
16:31 want evil but he’s permitting evil he’s
16:33 allowing evil because ultimately he can
16:35 bring good out of it and so he declares
16:39 it good my life is good your life is
16:43 good in spite of the evil that’s there
16:47 because that’s not an impediment for him
16:51 those poor souls who choose hell and who
16:54 end up in hell he saw that before
16:56 creation he saw that from all eternity
17:00 and he smiled on that he smiles on
17:03 everything when he frowns on sin that
17:07 frown and God is hell because our wills
17:11 are weakened because our intellects are
17:13 dimmed since the fall we’re subject to
17:17 error were subject to sin there is a
17:20 very real danger of choosing something
17:22 other than God choosing something other
17:24 than life and of ending up in hell but
17:28 God smiled on that he saw that he saw
17:31 that it’s good his reality is good

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