27th Sunday Ordinary Time: Yahweh in Genesis

Reading Matter

Pope Paul VI will be canonized (declared a Saint) next Sunday (Oct 14th). We encourage you to  commemorate this event by reading this selection from the Apostolic Exhortation issued on Dec 8th 1975. Evangelii nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World). We might be reminded of the words of St Francis: “Preach always, when necessary use words”.

In the midst of their own community, (Christians) show their capacity for understanding and acceptance, their sharing of life and destiny with other people, their solidarity with the efforts of all for whatever is noble and good. Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? Why are they in our midst? Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one. Here we have an initial act of evangelization. The above questions will ask, whether they are people to whom Christ has never been proclaimed, or baptized people who do not practice, or people who live as nominal Christians but according to principles that are in no way Christian, or people who are seeking, and not without suffering, something or someone whom they sense but cannot name. Other questions will arise, deeper and more demanding ones, questions evoked by this witness which involves presence, sharing, solidarity, and which is an essential element, and generally the first one, in evangelization.”[51]


Adult Sacraments and Religious Education:

Seekers and Wonderers: If you are a Catholic who has received all the Sacraments or a non- Catholic who is interested in the Catholic Church but do not know enough to commit we invite you to join our Adult preparation Class which starts Oct 7 after the 11:15 Mass. Just show up on Sunday or call Fr Smith during the week.

Adult Baptism, Confirmation and Communion: Please come to the first class on Sunday Oct 7th after the 11:15 Mass or call Fr Smith during the week.

Marriage: We congratulate those who were engaged this summer and ask them to contact Fr Smith as soon as possible. Even if you are not getting married at St Charles we are responsible for the preparations and wish to make them as uplifting and pleasant as possible.


Children’s Baptism:

Whether you have had a child Baptized before or if this is your first time we are here to assist you. The regular time for Baptisms is the 11:15 Mass on the fourth Sunday of the Month and the pre-baptismal class is at 2:00 PM (in the Church) on the second Sunday of the Month. Sunday Baptisms are not usually celebrated during Advent and Lent and we recognize scheduling difficulties during the year and will always seek to accommodate. Please see Fr Smith after Mass or call him in the rectory.



On Thursday afternoon WNYC’s Noon Program “All of It” had an enlightening discussion on the situation with the BQE. The link may be found below – this section lasts about 30 Mins. https://www.wnyc.org/story/bqe-debacle-whats-next-nyff-cheerleaders-fight-fair-pay?play=742438





 First Reading: Genesis 2:18–24


Many of the scripture passages we have examined have been from the Torah/Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). We have seen that it has a long editorial history with roots at the very beginning of the Israelite people (c. 1400 BC) but was not written down in its final form until after the return from Babylon. (c. 500 BC). Another interesting element in its composition is that scholars can locate 4 or 5 traditions within it. This is reflected in the inconsistencies and duplications within the books. The most famous are the two creation stories in the book of Genesis. They reflect two of these traditions, the Priestly and the Yahwistic.

The Priestly tradition opens the book of Genesis. It is characterized by majesty and order:

1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,

2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1–3


We then see God call forth the universe by his command. When that was done he created humanity:


26 Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”

27 God created man in his image;

in the divine image he created him;

male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:26–27


All this is done by God’s word and shows His superiority over the creation he has called into being. Although this is the first tradition we encounter in Genesis, it is the last one to be formulated and reflects the situation of the Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the exile in Babylon. The temple had been restored and the leaders knew that to maintain themselves as a people they needed to be formed by religious practice and law. The priest then emphasized the transcendence and power of God which they had experience in this return.

The Yahwist, so called because he uses the name “Yahweh” for God, has a different perspective. He makes his appearance immediately after the Priestly God has established the Sabbath. Here the world is formed into being by a relationship with God. Here, God gets his hands dirty.

First, notice that that it begins with a wasteland.

 while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, Genesis 2:5

Having given life giving water

7 the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

There is a significant play on words here: Adam the first human is made from the soil: asamah. Humanity is not to ever lose sight of where we came from. Also, too much can be made of blowing the spirit of life into Adam. This is not giving a soul – the Hebrew language certainly at this stage would have no word for it. Our special status is that God speaks to us in a way that he does not with other creatures. He desires a relationship with us and it is that which makes us human but full humanity requires not only a relationship with God but with other humans.

 18 The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” Genesis 2:18

He then forms from the ground the many animals and gives them to Adam to name. God formed the animals, but Adam had dominion over them. None however could prove a true companion

21 So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

22 The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man,

23 the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

This one shall be called ‘woman,’

for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” Genesis 2:21–23


Man and woman are created from the same material by the same God, and are thus equal in his sight. It should be noted that the same word used for woman as helpmate is used also for God repeatedly in the Old Testament.

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. Genesis 2:24

The relationship of husband and wife is so close that the relationship becomes an identity. As we will see in next week’s sermons at Mass on Catholic social teaching this is the bedrock of a just society. A society can only be as strong as its families.

The Yahwist is often considered a mere collector of myths and folktales, but he is a sophisticated author. He tells 10 stories in Genesis that range from Adam and Eve (3:1-24) to the Israelite’s worship of the Gods of Moab (25:1-25).  All are a violation of the convent with God, and most a denial of the marital bond. He knows that this disobedience begins in the human heart. As God said to Cain:

7 If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.” Genesis 4:7

Cain, refusing to listen to the Lord’s words kills his brother Abel and becomes a “restless wanderer on the earth” (Gen 4:12). Sin is the bringer of discord,  personal and societal.

There is eternal value in the work of the Yahwist. Our dignity is not given by our social circumstances or intelligence or even goodness – it is gift from God, indeed from his continual relationship with us. No one but God can take that dignity from us. If we do not embrace this dignity, then we will experience our relationship with God, if at all, as breaking one law after another. But if we do embrace it, then our lives will be characterized by a dialogue with Him that will bring us joy now, and bliss forever.