The first reading of today gives that awesome account of creation. Awesome is the order the writer uses to describe creation Gn 1:1-19 , with each part of creation beginning with Gods command; “Then God said.” From the very beginning creation is obedient to the creator. It is all designed according to Gods plan. I have never felt the urge to take the fundamentalist view of creation, I appreciate the way the writer describes our world as simply Gods creation. I also get the understanding the difference between Gods creation, and mans ability to assemble things, but that is not what interests me today. Today, it is the beauty of Gods creation along with an image of the garden of paradise where man enters. The reason is that focus on the Garden of Paradise has to so with the Gospel reading where Jesus travels across the sea of Galilee to the town of Gennesaret. When Jesus’s boat arrives in that town, people flock to him, and he heals many.
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said,
So many times when I read of places where Jesus heals , I try to learn about what the area was like at that time to get a feel for its history and significance. Gennesaret was allotted to the tribe of Naphtali, and the name of that tribe means “my struggle” or “my wrestling.” The region that they inhabited was never fully overtaken by the Hebrews, and was known as “Galilee of the Gentiles.” I find it Interesting that Jesus went to this region and healed many simply because it was a region that was conflicted, neither fully Jewish or fully Gentile.
After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,
Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret
There is another reason I find this region interesting though, and that has nothing to do with the people that inhabited it. The region was known to be some of the most fertile land in the area, and it also was known for its sheer beauty. For its natural beauty it gained the name “the Paradise of Galilee”. As God created it, Gennesaret was paradise. As man ruled it, Gennesaret became known as “Galilee of the Gentiles.” As Jesus goes about this region, he heals the people that struggled in Paradise. To heal people in Paradise is of course to lead people back that Paradise where mankind first fell.That name Gennesaret, and a little history gives a little insight into why Jesus crossed that lake………