Today’s reading from Hosea reminds us that since ancient times, praising God has meant using images from nature.
The certainty of the dawn and the shining light of the day have been around long before humans developed a conscience to experience it and a language to express it. But what if pollution and smog obscure our experience of both?
The annual harvest and the survival of the community depend upon the water of spring rains in many parts of the world. But what if there was none, or if it were toxic?
If future generations are to understand these rich natural Biblical metaphors, then we must preserve both the language and the reality of nature’s beauty. God’s nourishing qualities are mirrored in the nourishing qualities of nature, in the live-giving capacity of our earth. And by nourishing the Earth, we help ensure that there will always be dawns that are certain like God’s coming.
- Where can I find God’s nourishing quality in an aspect of nature, in my direct surroundings, today?
- Where else do I use images from nature in my daily life to express myself better? Can I create some of my own today, that make sense to me?
Uta Sievers worked at the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat of the Jesuits at their headquarters near the Vatican from 2006 to 2011. During this time, she helped publish several documents on ecology, some of which she hopes Pope Francis has read! Originally from Germany, she has spent the last 15 years living and working in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Italy.