The themes of “covenant” and “the kingdom of God” brought to mind a quote I read recently that pertains well to today’s readings. We are situated in a web of life. The same currents that run through our human blood also run through the swirling galaxies and the myriad of life-forms that pervade this planet: one and the same evolutionary current moves through all – a single self-transcending current of all-pervading energy that brings new life out of seeming catastrophe. Ilia Delio, OSF
Noah, his family and the pairs of animals/creatures that he took with him on the ark certainly experienced a catastrophe but were saved and given new life by God as they responded to God’s very specific instructions. God makes a covenant, not just with Noah but every living creature with you. I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings….. Noah and his family were not the only ones saved. God in God’s awesome wisdom and love of creation, told Noah to include “every kind of wild beast, every kind of domestic animal, every kind of creeping thing of the earth, and every kind of bird.” Genesis 7:14. This is the God of creation who calls us forth to care for all of creation. This is a God of inclusivity and love of all God made.
A book that I read years ago by Monika Hellwig called Guests of God was a transforming one for me. The subtitle was Stewards of Divine Creation. Just the concept of being a “guest” on this planet Earth – a steward of Divine Creation where I/we walk, breathe, receive its gifts touched me. I felt/feel invited to walk gently/tenderly in this world of creation knowing that I/we have just a certain period of time given us to appreciate and savor its’ gifts. Guests tend to be gentle, caring and appreciative of what is not theirs but is offered to them for a given time. That’s us! Planet Earth with all its creatures, plants, trees, water, etc are not ours but gifts given to us for a time.
I can only imagine that Jesus after having been in the desert for 40 days, would have gratefully cherished all the gifts of creation that he had been deprived of during his desert time. He surely must have looked at all God had made and echoed the prayer of the Creator “it is very good”. Though tempted during those 40 days, Jesus refused to exploit God’s good gifts, or to use them only for his advantage.
What kind of guest of God am I? It might be a question for each of us as we journey through this Lent. The kingdom of God is at hand! How might we live it, cherish it and share it with all creation?