February 6, 2017
by Larry Gillick, S.J.
Creighton University's Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 329

Psalm 104:1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35c
Mark 6:53-56

Praying Ordinary Time

Different cultures and experts have puzzled over just how creation happened and is happening.  There is the Big Bang explanation which sounds quite exciting.  The “how” of it is one thing? The other question is “why”!     An ancient group of Rabbis put it simply - that God created humans, because God loves stories.

Our First Reading for today’s Eucharistic liturgy is the familiar beginning of a long story of the “how” it happened.  God just said “it” and “it” happened, no big bang, but quite orderly.  Order and disorder will be the main theme of the “story” in which God is the main character.  “Let there be” and there it is bango! Everything is, has its name and place and that includes the creation from the earth and for the earth the “somebodies” who will play important roles in this God-centered story.

At the end of our First Reading, everything is set, everything is in order.  In the early Jewish tradition, God is the “up-there” orderliness of the planets and the disorderliness of the conditions on the earth would be where God is not. The great “story” will continue with God’s trying to bring back order so that God can continue enjoying the “story”.    There are stories within the “story” of how God tries this way and that to bring back the sense that all is “good” as God originally saw it and that the characters within the story are “very good.”

Today’s Gospel is a continuation of God’s story.  Jesus is the incarnation and intensification of God’s creation-narrative.  Note that Jesus gets out of the boat and steps on the soil, dirt of the earth. There are signs of disorder everywhere Jesus walked on the earth of Gennesaret.  Sickness or physical disability were seen as indications of sin. The villagers hurried around to gather the fragmented, as Jesus had the fragments of bread collected earlier in this same chapter.  His mission was to bring them to the Reorderer, the Healer, and the Continuationer of God’s story of creation.

On the First Day, after the earth was formed God is meant to be seen by the creation of Light. By this Light all things subsequently formed are to be seen and the Creator of these “signs” are to be revealed as well. Jesus continues that Light exactly in the very places where there is darkness. The “Savior” saves creation from being mistaken by the disorder. The “Savior” is the light, the Word, the Collector and the Voice eternally announcing that all is very good. Everything and everyone has upon them, the creative and salvific fingerprints of the Never-ending Story-Maker.

Jesus continues stepping ashore as Finder and Healer. He finds us exactly where we most experience our being of the earth. He is Healer, not from our humanity, our “humus”, but from the sense that our humanity is nothing but dirt and disorder. With Him and in Him and through Him we receive again and again our being saved to be in God’s story. It is a good one!

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