Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The creation of the man and the ecology
At the time when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens – while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the Lord God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground – the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food …..The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. Gen 2,4b-9.15
Some scientists state that the origin of the world took place in a way different from what is described in the first book of the Genesis. However, the scientists who are lighted by the faith recognize that the narration of the genesis is not in conflict with the event which seems to have been occurred. It is enough to read it in a symbolic and spiritual mode, giving to the short times of the book the significance of millions of years. Galileo Galilei correctly explained the fact that the books of the Bible do not bear any scientific basis when, being accused to believe to the Copernican heliocentric theory in conflict with the geocentric Ptolemaic theory which seemed to be confirmed by a passage of the Holy Scriptures, said: “The Bible teaches how to go to the sky and not as the sky goes”. Being aware of this truth, both the Hebraism and the Church linked together, without specific problems, the first book of the Genesis, obtained from the Sacerdotal Code, to the second which comes from the Jahvista tradition. This is the reason because of which the creation of the man is described by the first chapters in two different ways, even if not contrasting between them. The today passage explains how God, by breathing over the body of the man, wanted to make him an intelligent and spiritual being, such that to be able to entrust to him the custody of his creation, the garden of the Eden. God has entrusted to the man the mandate “to cultivate it and to custody it”, to obtain for himself his sustenance and to make it adequate to satisfy his needs across the times. In practice, the continuation of the creative act of God has been entrusted to the man: “The Lord God took the man and located him into the garden of the Eden to cultivate it and to custody it”. The man has been entrusted not only the cultivation, but also the custody. The Christian ecologic thought is rooted in this verse. To respect and take care of the creation, in addition to be a convenient fact for the man, is exactly the mandate of God.