We read today the second half of the first account of creation. In it we discover the supreme importance God attaches to the final act of creation, humanity. Unfortunately we will not be reflecting upon the second account of creation that contains the story dealing with the origins of sin because we move into the Lenten cycle tomorrow. Let us focus on what we have before us today.

The affirmation at the end of the sixth day is similar to that of the first five but significantly different. God sees all that he had made and He saw that it was VERY good, not just ‘good’ as we read concerning the end of the first five days. This tells us that God is especially pleased with His work of creating man and woman. If we look carefully at the text we discover that the emphasis is not upon trying to distinguish if one sex was created first or not. The emphasis is upon the fact that God has created both man and woman in the image and likeness of himself. This likeness has nothing to do with appearances. It is a reference to the relational character and ability of humanity. We are like God in that we have consciousness and can choose to enter into relationship with one another and with God. It is upon this aspect of our nature that our dignity as human persons rests.

The fundamental equality of dignity of man and woman is rooted in this dignity bestowed upon both at creation. God is so pleased with His final act of creation that He decides to rest on the seventh day. Here we find the basis for our own sabbath rest. It is fundamental to the dignity of the human person that they not be obliged to work seven days a week. Yes, it is through work that humanity finds a true expression of itself in that we share in the ongoing work of creation through our own work; however, it is not the be all and end all of our lives.

It is a part of human nature that we need to set aside time to recreate ourselves through rest and leisure. Without rest and leisure it is not possible for the human person to truly appreciate life in all of its beauty. God wants us to put work aside every now and then in order to give ourselves the time and space to reflect upon the more spiritual element of our existence, namely our relationship with Him.

Do I maintain a good balance between work and leisure in my life or do I allow work to control my time to the detriment of my relationship with God?

Holy Spirit, I need your help to order my life so that I do not lose sight of my and others human dignity. Grant me the grace to place a higher price upon the small time I set aside for recreation and leisure so that the place for God in my life is never compromised.