Day 23: Tend and Till the Earth
BY FR. MICHAEL WOODS, S.J. | March 23, 2017
Creation is a powerful way to hear God’s voice. Who hasn’t marveled at God’s creation? We should marvel at creation and worship God – Amen.
God says so often: Listen to my voice!—an act fundamental to biblical faith. The words ‘hear’ and ‘obey’ are related. When we do not hear and obey what the living God is attempting to say to us, we tend to act in rather harmful, ruinous ways.
Ask Adam and Eve. Although cast out of Eden, God continues to care for them and gives them a task that will right their relationship with God: tend and till the earth.
God also cries out to us: Stop ruining the gift of my creation! Rather work with it, and me, so that it brings me (God) the glory and you (humans) life-giving relationships!
Pope Francis says that when we harm creation, we harm ourselves, and especially the poor. The Pope has made caring for creation integral to being faith-filled Christians. Christ took bread and wine, fruits of the earth, in his hands and blessed them. This act alone should change the way we hear God’s voice in creation. That same encounter should move us to obedience in taking up our ecological cross in solidarity with creation, one another, and the poor.
How will our tending and tilling of creation become integral to preaching God’s good news?
Fr. Michael Woods, S.J. teaches theology at Wheeling Jesuit University, is coordinator of sustainability programs for the Appalachian Institute, farms, stays close to the poor, and tries to prevent humanity from trashing the planet.
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