Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

(Genesis 1:20-2:4a; Mark 7:1-13)

In the movie “Jurassic Park” humans try their hand at creation.  Actually they attempt to recreate an idyllic island where children may see the wonders of dinosaurs.  The enterprise fails, however, because of human miscalculation and vice.  Genesis reports today part of the story of God’s creation.  It works marvelously, at least to the extent that the same humans do not interfere.

Today’s reading relates the fifth and sixth days of creation and the seventh day of rest.  God first makes the creatures of the sea which include birds.  Then He turns His attention to land animals making domestic stock before populating forest with wild beats.  Of course, God reserves for last the pinnacle of His creation – human beings.  They are made in the image of God with a mind and will.  They also are given dominance over the rest of the earth.  But they are forbidden from abusing anything.  This command is implied in God’s first words to humankind.  Men and women are to eat seed-bearing plants and fruits from trees.  But forgetting the command, they will soon bring about discord in creation. 

The issue of eating only vegetables and fruits has been resolved in accord with most people’s liking.  But God’s mandate to live in harmony with the rest of creation is still in force.  We are to care for the earth and to treat our co-creatures humanely.  These tasks entail the curtailing of greed and the cultivating of respect.  When we do so, we do not oppose our nature as evidenced in today’s reading.  We only improve defective elements of our culture.