Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The creation account that is found in the Book of Genesis is of serious importance to both our lives of faith and our understanding of the world around us. It must be said, that we as Catholics do not take the story of Genesis as completely literal, unlike some of our other Christian brothers and sisters. We recognize that the story is in the style of myth, meaning that it tells a story to help us realize deeper truths. What are some of these lessons we learn from the story of creation?

In looking at the ordering of the days of creation and the sequence with which light and darkness, the sun and the moon, the various animals of the world, we can see that there is a real order and intention to God’s act of creation. And while scientifically, some of the order is incorrect (the sun existed well before there was water on Earth), the lesson is that there is an order, and not just chaos. This is very important and radically different from the creation stories from many other cultures.

Another critical lesson comes in the creation of humanity. In just a few short verses, we see how the human person is made in the Image and Likeness of God, and that the reality of both male and female are part of God’s ordering. Both of these concepts are deep and again radical. Humanity has an inherent dignity because they have an imprint of God within each individual. God doesn’t favor one gender over another; male and female are held with the same esteem as God created them. Such ideas serve as the basis of how we view and deal with being human and in society.

One of the more curious lessons is what occurs on the seventh day of creation. God does tremendous things for six days and then on the seventh day, He does nothing but rest. Is it the case that God somehow got tired? That seems a bit silly to consider. And yet, what is the
meaning and purpose of God resting on the seventh day? It is a lesson and an invitation for us to rest ourselves. Unlike God, we do get tired. And the more we work and the harder we work without rest, the less effective we tend to be and more likely to burn out altogether. Rest is
essential to the human person. And because our Lord understands that reality, He modeled it for us in the story of creation.

And so, as we move into the summer months, I want to encourage us all to make sure that we take some rest. I hope that you get some time with family and friends, to recreate and relax, whether it’s down the shore, or across the globe, or simply in your backyard. Rest is good and
important as the story of Genesis shows us. Make sure you heed the lesson.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan