Friday, July 17, 2009

The Story of Creation in Genesis According to Catholic Catechism

Catholics have always read the Bible. We listen to the Word of God at Mass, reflect on its message privately in our homes, and even participate in Bible Study groups and classes. The Bible is one of the directing factors toward the center of our faith, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

We do not read Scripture as anything other than the Word of God. And who is the Word of God, in whom everything has been revealed? Jesus is the source of our Divine Revelation. The Bible is all about Him. Whether it is prophecy from the Old Testament, or fulfillment in the New Testament, Sacred Scripture is Revelation handed on to God’s creation from His own Spirit and Truth.

Therefore, the stories written in the Holy Bible must be studied in light of Divine Revelation, and not diminished by man’s limitations of interpretation. If we are to understand the story of creation, we must do so with an open heart and mind, allowing God to supply what is missing in our hearts.

“Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources. The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation – its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation.” (CCC p. 84 – 85)

I discovered a wonderful article written by Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco titled: Reading Genesis with Cardinal Ratzinger. Interpreting Scripture is not a scientific process, but an enlightening one. This article explains how to read the Story of Creation in Genesis, in light of the Catholic faith, and explains why it is important to “move beyond a literalist reading of the Genesis text.”