Ok, it’s been a little more than a few more ‘days’ since my last T.O.B post but I got a little derailed by school starting and life. Here are some excerpts for pondering from the next ‘day’, day 4, of Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body, given at the General Audience of September 26, 1979.
“1. When Christ responds to the question about the unity and indissolubility of marriage, he appeals to the words of Genesis about the subject of marriage. In our two foregoing reflections, we analyzed both the so-called Elohist text (Gen 1) and the Yahwist text (Gen 2). Today we want to draw some conclusions from these analyses.” [Can someone please explain in very simple terms what the difference between Elohist and Yahwist is??]
“When Christ appeals to the ‘beginning,’ he asks his interlocutors to go in some way beyond the boundary running in Genesis between the state of original innocence and the state of sinfulness that began with the original fall.
Symbolically, this boundary can be linked with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which delimits two diametrically opposed situations in the Yahwist text: the situation of original innocence and that of original sin. These situations have their own dimension in man, in his innermost [being], knowledge, consciousness, conscience, choice, and decision, and all of this in a relationship with God, the Creator…”
“Yet, Christ’s words, which appeal to the ‘beginning,’ allows us to find an essential continuity in man and a link between these two different states or dimensions of the human being…”
2. “It is not a question of mere dialectic. The laws of knowing correspond to those of being.” [The rest of this part was difficult to follow. I think the main point being made though is that when talking about our history as human beings, we must also understand the state of our original (pre-historic) and "fundamental innocence" as a "dimension of being created 'in the image of God'"]
“3. When Christ, according to Matthew 19, appeals to the ‘beginning,’ he does not point only to the state of original innocence as a lost horizon of human existence in history. To the words that he speaks with his own lips, we have the right to attribute at the same time the whole eloquence of the mystery of redemption. In fact, already in…Genesis 2 and 3, we witness the moment in which man, male and female, after having broken the original covenant with his Creator, receives the first promise of redemption in the words of the so-called Protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15 and begins to live in the theological perspective of redemption. Thus…human beings today [and those of the past since the fall] participates…not only in the history of human sinfulness…but he also participates in the history of salvation…Precisely this perspective of the redemption of the body guarantees the continuity and the unity between man’s hereditary state of sin and his original innocence, although within history this innocence has been irremediably lost by him.”
“4. In the interpretation of the revelation about man, and above all about the body, we must, for understandable reasons, appeal to the experience, because bodily man is perceived by us above all in experience….our human experience is in some way a legitimate means for theological interpretation…”
“5. It seems that the words of Romans 8:23…express the direction of our research centered on the revelation of that ‘beginning’ to which Christ appealed in his dialogue about the indissolubility of marriage (Mt 19; Mk 10)….’We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for…the redemption of our bodies’”
So basically: We have an innocent history and a sinful history. Our human experience is a ‘labor’ that will hopefully bring us back to that original state of innocence through the redemption of our bodies. In the end, we hope to return to ‘the beginning’. Any other thoughts about this reflection?