Scripture: Lectionary # 331. Genesis 2:5-9. 15-17. Psalm
104:1-2.27-28.29-30. Mark 7:14-23

Today's Readings

Today we have the more human like narrative of the creation of man and
woman. The symbols of breath of God, adamah (dry red clay) and the side of
Adam are elements in the description of a redactor or writer of an ancient
tradition which is called the Yahwist. The reverence for the Holy Name of
God pronounces this word when read as "Adonai" or Lord. Most of the
narratives that have just the English word Lord in Genesis would therefore
belong to the Yahwist tradtion. This theologian is very down to earth and
uses simple language in his narrative. We may say his approach is
"horizontal" and emphasizes a friendly relationship between God and
oursleves. The Priestly Tradition is more reserved and clear; it is meant
for the liturgy and the worship of God who goes by both Yahweh in the
Hebrew and Elohim. So we read, "Lord God" in English. This tradition or
theological perspective is more "transcendent" and shows us in a reverent
and worship like relationship with God. There are four such "redactions",
"theological perspectives", or traditions within the Torah, the first five
books of the Bible which are most revered and the Deuteronomist which is
the last of the five in the Pentateuch or Torah. This one then is more of a
covenantal, Moses like orientation with his encouragement given to the
faithful people of God. The covenant and the great choice of life over
death is key to Deuteronomy. Perhaps, what the Gospel of John does for the
Christian reading of the Scriptures in the New Testament, the Book of
Deuteronomy does for our sisters and brothers who are Jewish.

St. Bonaventure gives us a clear way of approaching the Scriptures. We
remember how he had to fight for the Franciscans to take on the studies of
theology and scripture. He did not want them to be ignorant of the depth of
revelation. Here are a few of his thoughts about the Bible or Scripture: "
...through the Holy Spirit who allots and apportions his gifts to each
person as he wishes, we receive the gift of faith, and through "faith
Christ lives in our hearts." So we come to know Christ and this knowledge
becomes the main source of our understanding of the truth of all sacred
scripture. It is impossible, therefore, for anyone to achieve this
understanding unless he first receive the gift of faith. This faith is the
foundation of the whole Bible, a lamp and a key to its understanding."