Sister Elizabeth Geraghty provides reflection and excerpts from Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home)
The biblical texts (of Genesis) are to be read in their context, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world. “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.
This responsibility for God’s earth means that human beings, endowed with intelligence, must respect the laws of nature and the delicate equilibria existing between the creatures of this world, for “he commanded and they were created; and he established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds and he set a law which cannot pass away.” (Ps 148:5b-6)
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the word “creation” has a broader meaning than “nature,” for it has to do with God’s loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance …Creation can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all, and as a reality illuminated by the love which calls us together into universal communion.
Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things.
A fragile world, entrusted by God to human care, challenges us to devise intelligent ways of directing, developing and limiting our power.
Faith allows us to interpret the meaning and the mysterious beauty of what is unfolding. The biblical accounts of creation invite us to see each human being as a subject who can never be reduced to the status of an object.
Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.