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February 11, 2019: Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Genesis 1:1-19
Gospel Mark 6:53-56

God saw how good it was.

In today’s First Reading the Church proclaims the first nineteen verses of the Bible. The Church proclaims the First Reading at weekday Mass from Genesis for almost two weeks during Ordinary Time: this week and next. Today and tomorrow the First Readings present the narrative of God’s six days of creation, and His rest on the seventh.

Today’s Responsorial is a commentary on the First Reading. To some degree, this psalm repeats what we hear in Genesis 1:1-19. But the psalm also does more. The Responsorial’s refrain points to this something “more”.

“May the Lord be glad in His works.” Regarding each of the created works of the first, third and fourth days, “God saw how good it was.” Within the narrative of God’s work of Creation, this sentence serves as a refrain, repeated over and over.

But today’s Responsorial refrain adds something more. To God’s “seeing” the goodness of creation, the psalm refrain points to the Lord being glad in His works. This “being glad” (the Latin Vulgate uses the verb ‘laetare’, meaning ‘to rejoice’) tells us something about God Himself, and likewise about us who are created in His Image and likeness. Indeed, we can imagine that God’s “rest” on the seventh day was not some sort of “Sunday afternoon nap”, but a “day long” rejoicing in the works He worked by His divine Word.