As God is beyond space and time, all things, wherever they are located in space and time, are equally present to him and he is equally present to them and is equally the cause of their being and reality. He “uphold[s] all things by the power of his word” (Heb 1:3). So it is not just the things that existed at the beginning of time that were created by God. All things that have ever existed or ever will exist have their existence from God. You are, right now, being created by God, as he is “upholding” you in existence “by the power of his word.”
So why does Genesis say that God created “in the beginning?” St. Augustine and with him the whole of Catholic tradition sees more than one level of meaning in this phrase. At the most obvious level, it refers to the temporal beginning of the universe, which, as St. Augustine profoundly realized, was the beginning of time itself. But “beginning” here also means, at a deeper level, the ultimate origin or source of the world. That origin stands outside of time altogether and is the power and wisdom of God. St. John’s Gospel calls it the Logos of God, which means both Word and Reason. “In the Beginning was the Logos . . . through Him all things were made” (Jn 1:1). Thus St. Augustine sums up his understanding of creation in this way:
In the beginning, O God, you made heaven and earth in your Word, in your Son, in your Power, in your Wisdom, in your Truth, speaking in a wondrous way, and working in a wondrous way . . . “How great are your works, O Lord, you have made all things in wisdom!” (Ps 103:24). That wisdom is the beginning, and in that beginning you have made heaven and earth.
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