Genesis i. 3.

June 24, 2010

And God said: Be light made. And light was made.

3. The beginning of the work of distinction: the creation of light.

St. Thomas: “Now it was necessary that the formlessness of darkness first of all be removed by the production of light, for two reasons.  The first is because light is a quality of the first body, whence it was according to light that the world should first receive its form.  The second is on account of the common nature of light; it shares even in lower bodies, as well as in higher things … Therefore it was fitting for the order of divine wisdom to be revealed in this way, so that light might be produced first among the works of distinction, as the form of the first body, and according to its common nature.  Basil gives a third reason, that it is through light that all other things are revealed.  A fourth reason is also to be added, that day cannot exist without light; whence it was necessary for light to be made on the first day” (ST. Ia q. lxvii. a. iv.).

St. Ambrose: “Where ought the voice of God in Holy Scripture to begin, if not from light? whence should come the furnishment of the world, except it take its beginning from light?  For it would be in vain, if it were not seen.  God Himself was in light, for he inhabiteth light inaccessible,[1] and was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world:[2] but he willed that light to be made that could be grasped by corporeal eyes” (Hexæmeron, I. ix. 33.).

St. Chrysostom: “He spoke, and it was made, and the very darkness is put to flight, and light is revealed.  Do you see the indescribable power?” (Homiliæ in Genesin, iii., 2.).

St. Basil: “The first word of God created the nature of light, scattered the darkness, dispersed sadness, illuminated the world, and, in short, bestowed a pleasant and  delightful aspect on all things.  For the heavens also appeared, which before had been hiding in darkness; their beauty was seen, and beauty of such a kind to which even now our eyes bear witness” (Homiliæ in Hexæmeron, ii., 7.).

St. Bede: “It is fitting to the works of God, that the decoration of the world should take its beginning from light: for as He is the true light, and inhabiteth light inaccessible, and as the angels created immediately in the heaven of heavens had already begun to enjoy his most blessed vision, He fittingly gave to this world as well in decorating it the first grace of material light, that something might exist whereby the other things he would create could appear” (In Principium Genesis I col. 16).


[1] I Tim. vi. 16.

[2] John i. 9.

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