Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 1:20-2:4; Mark 7:1-13)
Commentors often claim that God declares humans “good” at creation. But a careful reading of the text does not support this claim. Unlike the declaration after all other creatures, with the exception of the heavens on day two, nothing is said of humans being created as good. The text does say that as God finished the work of creation, He said that what He had made was “very good.” But this may mean that it was very good that God created humans as not yet good.
Genesis does say that God created humans in His image. This means that they are like Him in some ways but in every way. Humans can think, communicate talk, work, and create. But they cannot perform any of these functions like God. They fail terribly and even deliberately at times in their attempt. This is to say that they may be very unlike God. It should be concluded then that they may not be good at all.
We should strive to be good like God. It is an impossible task, but we can come close to perfection. In any case, we do not go forth blindly. God helps us to be like Him. He establishes His laws in nature. He gives us His word in Scripture. And, most of all, He has sent His Son, whom we know as Jesus Christ, to help us be like Him.