Our Catholic faith includes plenty of philosophical and theological reflection, cultural traditions and strange legends. But fundamentally our Catholic faith is founded on history. The history of the world is a history of God’s relationship with the creatures He created. Our faith is founded on the encounters human beings have had with God. These encounters have been carefully recorded by eyewitnesses. It’s a romance, but the best kind, because it’s a true story. And it’s the greatest story ever told.
We need to remember and understand that when we read the Bible, fundamentally we are reading a book of history. It is a story of things that really happened. And what happened was that God gradually revealed himself. He spoke to one particular couple, then a family, and then eventually the whole world. God wanted a permanent and enduring relationship. In the Bible, this is called a covenant. A covenant is created by an oath in which two parties agree to be faithful to each other. Marriage is a covenant.
God wants this kind of relationship with his people. His first covenant is with the first couple, Adam and Eve. Then in Genesis 9, God makes a covenant with Noah, which includes his wife and three sons and their three wives. God blesses them and says, “be fertile and multiply and fill the earth.” Read Genesis Chapter 9 and you can hear echoes of the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2. After the 40 days of the flood when the sins of the world were washed away, God wants a new creation and a new people that will once again be His people and be holy, like their God. The call to be a holy family is a call the reflect God’s love to others — to be not only made in God’s image, but also to reflect His likeness. Your encounters with God are also part of this great history. May Lent be an opportunity for a new encounter with the God who loves you.