Pope: the Bible is not a textbook of science, but indicates the real truth of things
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Book of Genesis "is not intended as a manual of the natural sciences; it wants to help us understand the authentic and profound truth of things" that the world originates "from the eternal reason of God, who continues to sustain the universe, "that all men are equal because they are all equally made of "dust" that the "breath" breathed on them by God motivates " the inviolability of human dignity against any attempt to evaluate the person in accordance with utilitarian criteria or those of power. "
This is what the sentence, "the Creator of heaven and earth", contained in the "Creed" implies and to which Benedict XVI continues to dedicate his general audience catechesis.
So, today, to eight thousand people present in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, the Pope began with the description of Creation in Genesis to highlight several points. The first is that God is "is the source of all things and in the beauty of creation unfolds His omnipotence as a loving Father" and that "creation becomes a place in which to know and recognize the omnipotence of the Lord and his goodness , and becomes a call to the faith for believers because we proclaim God as Creator. " "Faith implies, therefore, being able to recognize the invisible, by identifying traces of it in the visible world".
The Book of Genesis then shows that "everything that God creates is good and beautiful, full of wisdom and love, the creative action of God brings order, infuses harmony, gives beauty." The universe. then, "is not a set of contrasting forces, but has its origin and its stability in the Logos. There is a design of the world that is born from this Reason, the Spirit Creator. Believing that this is at the basis of all things, illuminates every aspect of life and gives us the courage to face the adventure of life with confidence and hope. So the Scripture tells us that the origin of the world, our origin is not irrational or out of necessity, but reason and love and freedom. And this is the alternative: the priority of the irrational, of necessity or the priority of reason, freedom and love. We believe in this position".
Again, the Bible says that God formed man from the dust of the earth. "This means that we are not God, we did not make ourselves, we are the earth, but it also means that we come from good soil, through the work of the Creator. Added to this is another fundamental reality: all human beings are dust, beyond the distinctions of culture and history, beyond any social difference; we are one humanity formed with the sole earth of God . Then there is a second element: the human being originates because God breathes the breath of life into the body he molded from the earth (cf. Gen 2:7). The human being is made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26-27). And we all carry within us the breath of life from God and every human life - the Bible tells us - is under the special protection of God. This is the deepest reason for the inviolability of human dignity against any attempt to evaluate the person in accordance with utilitarian criteria or those of power. Being the image and likeness of God means that man is not closed in on himself, but has an essential reference in God".
Genesis tells us that man was then placed in a garden. Not in a " a wild forest, but a place that protects, nourishes and sustains, and the man must recognize the world not as his property to be plundered and exploited, but as gift of the Creator, a sign of His saving will, a gift to cultivate and care for, to grow and develop in accordance and harmony with the rhythms and logic of God's plan".
But in the garden there was the snake, with a "subtle question," Is it true that God said not to eat from any tree of the garden?". The snake raises the suspicion that the covenant with God is like a chain that binds, which deprives of liberty and the most beautiful and precious things in life. The temptation becomes that of building their own world in which to live, not to accept the limitations of being a creature, the limits of good and evil, morality; dependence on the creating love of God is seen as a burden to be freed of. This is always the crux of the matter. But when the relationship with God is distorted, by our putting ourselves in His place, all other relationships are altered. Then the other becomes a rival, a threat".
"And if all that God created was good, indeed very good, after man's free decision in favor of lies over the truth, evil entered the world". " Once the fundamental relationship is upset, the other poles of relationships are compromised or destroyed, sin ruins everything."
"To live by faith - said the Pope - is to recognize the greatness of God and accept our smallness, our condition as creatures letting the Lord fill us with His love. Evil, with its load of pain and suffering, is a mystery that is illuminated by the light of faith, which gives us the certainty of being able to be freed from it, the certainty that it is good to be human. "