A New Beginning

The flood narrative in Genesis (i.e. today’s first reading) is not a very pleasant one.  In order to rid the whole earth of violence and wickedness God floods the entire earth.

I don’t think it’s important to read this text as literal history, but there is an important point to be made here.  Essentially, what Noah is offered is the opportunity to make a fresh start.  Of course, if we read on in the story, we realize that he squanders it, yet that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for us.

Where do we see the idea of this fresh start most clearly?  We see this in the clear parallels between this passage and the language of Genesis 1.  Twice in Genesis 9 there is reference made to Noah and his family “being fruitful and multiplying” (see vs. 1 and vs. 7).  We find the same language in Genesis 1:28.

A second parallel is that there is a reference to humankind being created in the image of God in Genesis 9:27.  We find the same language in Genesis 1:27.

So, there are clear parallels between the language in Genesis 9 and Genesis 1.  Well, what happened in Genesis 1?  That was the beginning.  These verbal links then communicate the idea that Noah is able to make a new beginning.

But this is not just the case for Noah.  A new beginning is exactly what God continues to offer us through Christ.  There is another place where we find an interesting use of the word “creation.”  In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Do you need a fresh start today?  Don’t squander it as Noah did, but live as a new creation in Christ.

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About Jeremy

I work at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, LA. I teach part-time classes from time to time, through Loyola University in New Orleans, Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and St. Joseph's Abbey and Seminary College. I also just finished a doctoral degree in Biblical languages through the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
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