John 1:1-18 and Genesis 1:1-5,26-27
St. Mary of the Angels
June 4, 2021
Creation: Paternal and Loving Action
Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-3: “In the beginning” meaning that God is foundational and eternal. Everything that happens thereafter is rooted in what is absolute – not some transitory idea or chance occurrence.
Genesis 1:2: “without form,” “void,” “darkness,” “deep,” and “waters” all suggest an incomprehensible chaos. Creation is not just creating something from nothing (ex nihilo). It is at the same time making what is incomprehensible comprehensible, and making what is disordered ordered. In other words, it is an improvement, for what is (existence) is better than what is not (nonexistence) – hence God later says that it is “good,” for He is acknowledging that creation is intrinsically moral.
Genesis 1:2: “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” – better word is “hovered” as in hovering gently and protectively over what is dark and disordered. God is parental from the very start. He is protecting the nascent possibility of life like a parent protects a child about to be born (hovering the unborn as a womb).
Genesis 1:3-5: “Let there be light” – When God acts disorder is refashioned into an ordered creation – what is lost and scattered is brought into his ordered Kingdom.
Genesis 1:26-27: Man is made in God’s image and likeness for the purpose of ruling over His creation. If Man is ordered, creation is ordered. If Man is disordered, then creation is disordered.
John 1:4-5: Notwithstanding creation, there remains darkness separated from light (sin which results in chaos and ultimately death).
John 1:6: “a man sent from God” – God remains protective of His creation. He is not giving up on it no matter the depths of sin and depravity.
John 1:7-12: “true light” – God ultimately sends Himself into the world to protect what He loves. “Sons of God” – God paternally leads His own into His life, just as He paternally had led nonexistence into existence and disorder into order.
John 1:14: God is redoing what is described in Genesis 1:26-27 – “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” – A New Man is creation, and we are gathered up into His Kingdom
John 1:17-18: The new creation is born of grace and truth. Will not be defeated, so this is the “peace which passeth all understanding” – the new Sabbath for all times.
Four Readings of Scripture
Literal Reading: What the Scripture says literally
Allegorical Reading: The Christological meaning in the verse or the story
Moral Reading: The meaning for our lives here and now (realized eschatology)
Anagogical Reading: The promise for our lives yet to come (future eschatology)
In order to discern the four readings of Scripture, and the proper interconnections between those four readings, the Scriptures must be read in the context of Catholic faith and practice and as an expression of pious prayer. The Holy Spirit makes the Scriptures come alive for us, if we approach Him in humility and thanksgiving.