In our first readings for daily Mass in this Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, we moved to the Book of Genesis from the Hebrew Scriptures. We began with one of the biblical stories of creation, and over two days we reflected upon the six days of God's creative love and the seventh day of His rest and enjoyment. At the conclusion of each day's work, the Lord paused, looked at what was created, and the scripture says that "God saw how good it was". The Psalm on Monday was from Psalm 104, and the response was "May the Lord be glad in his works." What God did was to share His very life and love. His creative Word brought goodness and blessing. The intended results provided joyful praise of God. And all was good!
As I heard those words again and reflected upon their truth, I was overwhelmed at how far we have strayed from the reality of that creative experience and how we have lost a sense of the truth of the goodness of God's creation. We are bombarded with the negative. Ugliness is a part of the human condition and has become normal. Goodness has been lost to hatred, prejudice and envy. We are divided and alienated, bitter and oppressed by hopelessness. The good that can be found in our lives takes much diligence and requires a radical departure from ordinary life. If God looks at us at this moment in history, can we imagine that He will look upon us lovingly and be able to say how good is that which He has created? That He is glad in His works?
We are called to love God and our neighbor. We are offered mercy and forgiveness. We are given grace and redeeming love. And we are extended an invitation to be embraced by the loving arms of our savior and to be reassured of our inherent goodness. For as the scriptures remind us ... when God created, when He fashioned us in His image and likeness, when He gifted us with a share in the divine nature, He saw that it was good ... and He took great delight in His work.