JMJ

Log-in

(7:00 p.m. – 7:05 p.m., all times Pacific and approximate)

Our address for this video chat discussion is: http://liveminutes.com/B31525

The format we will use is included below, if you’d like to follow-along in a new window/tab or print this out for your reference. Please feel free to participate even if you have not had a chance to do the readings yet. It may whet your appetite and we may benefit from your insights. Come and go as you please or need to!

Introductions

(7:00 – 7:10)

While everyone is logging-in, let’s introduce any new faces and get caught up. 🙂

Prayer

(7:10 – 7:15)

Let us pray together: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us.

Reading Recap

(7:15 – 7:30)

  • Let’s silently read each point below in turn, and then add any additional summary comments for each:
  • The “Early World” covers the period from Creation until 2000 B.C. (approximately the time of the construction of the pyramids until the construction of Stonehenge), Genesis Chapters 1 through 11. (See the timeline chart.)
  • Act 1: Creation. The Genesis accounts of Creation are the spiritually — not literally! — true antidotes to creation myths popular in the early world. Here, God is alone and above creation, and man is the specially-created climax of Creation. Key to understanding Creation is that it is an insitution of a familial covenant between God and man. According to the Pontifical Biblical Commission (in 1909), what must Catholics believe about the Creation? (See pg. 3 of the journal.)
  • Act 2: The Fall. Key to understanding The Fall is our original parents’ misunderstanding of their relationship to God; with the “help” of the serpent, they came to distrust God and to understand their relationship as slaves to a Master, while God created them as children with a Father. After their disobedience in The Fall, man is in conflict with everyone, but a Savior is promised even then.
  • Act 3: The Flood. Cain’s offering — and the stingy disposition of Cain himself — offend God; Cain is unrepentant and kills Abel. Great care is taken in Genesis to make distinct the two family lines (Cain’s and Seth’s), a device repeatedly used as a shorthand reference to the “black hats” and the “white hats.” The Flood story is a “re-Creation,” distinct from flood myths, again, by depicting the flood as God’s act of purifying man anew, rather than as the act of a helpless/bored/raging god. But, it’s not too long before Noah becomes drunk and his son Ham commits a very perverse act of lust/a power-grab against his mother/his father’s wife, leading Noah to curse Ham’s unborn son Canaan, from whom will originate many conflicts.
  • Act 4: Tower of Babel: The construction of the Tower is an attempt by Ham’s descendants (led by Nimrod) to usurp power from God and His chosen leader, Shem, and make a utopia. Here, sin starts by creating a unity — against God — but ends in a God-made division by language. Shem’s line will produce Abram/Abraham.

Discussion Questions

(7:30 – 8:20)

  • Specifically, how do the Creation stories in Genesis contrast with pagan creation myths? Why are these differences important for us today?
  • What choice was given to Adam and Eve? Why did they fall? How is The Fall evident in our lives, pre- and post-Baptism?
  • Why did Cain kill Abel? How do family lines relate to series of sins (Cain’s, Ham’s, etc.)?
  • Silently read 1 Peter 3: 18-22, then answer: What is the ultimate significance of The Flood as it relates to life in Christ?

[18] For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;
[19] in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison,
[20] who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
[21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
[22] who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

  • Why did God scatter the people at Babel? What is the spiritual/moral signficance of Babel for us today?

Wrap-Up

(8:20 -8:25)

  • What is the most important/interesting thing each of us is taking-away from this week’s study and discussion?

Closing Prayer and Log-off

(8:25 – 8:30)

Thanks be to God.

Our Father…, Hail Mary…, Glory Be…

Up next week (26 June 2012): Chapter 2 (“Patriarchs”)

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