Commentary on the Gospel of

Susan Tinley-Creighton University College of Nursing
Today’s reading from Genesis continues the beautiful creation story that started in yesterday’s reading. In the story the earth, day and night, the sky, the sea and dry land, vegetation of all kinds, the sun and moon have already been created in the first four days.


On the 5th day, God fills the sea with swimming creatures and the air with winged birds. On the 6th day, God created all kinds of animals and then created humans in his image and likeness, and he gave them dominion over all that he created.  


Some scientists will argue that the creation story is just a fantasy and the more that is learned scientifically, the more ridiculous it is to believe in God.  But it is a story that does not have to be either taken literally or rejected. The events of creation may have taken place over millions of years through the process of evolution, yet still have been directed by God. The beauty of the story is in the reminder of God’s presence in all of creation.


The authority that God gave man over all the rest of creation is tempered by the responsibility man has to care for that creation. Just as God found all that he created to be good so must we. There are times when it is easy to find God in his creation such as seeing a beautiful red and orange sunrise or sunset, holding and caressing one’s newborn for the first time, smelling spring flowers, or tasting just the right amount of a spice in a favorite dish. These are times when we are naturally moved to gratitude and a caring sense of stewardship. There are other times when may be less obvious or less convenient for us to find God’s love for us in all of creation such as when we hop in the car to go to the store for something we forgot or we find it easier to throw into the garbage an item that could have been rinsed and put in the recycling, but it is still our responsibility to care for all of his gifts.


As Pope Francis said in his General Audience, May 21, 2014,  “Creation is not some possession that we can lord over for our own pleasure; nor, even less, is it the property of only some people, the few: creation is a gift, it is the marvelous gift that God has given us, so that we will take care of it and harness it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”


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