Christ in the form of the fish, representing the Trinity.
Have you ever been amazed by the wonders of the earth, life, and the universe? Every day, there is something new, something remarkable that awes us. We are reminded of our smallness in relation to the vast expanse of the universe. There is an amazing intricacy in the details of structure and function. It is fascinating how all the systems of life and nature are designed to work together. From sunrise to sunset, dew and rain, ice and snow, sunshine and clouds, rainbows and auroras, flowers and bird songs, babies to the elderly, smiling faces and helping hands, we are moved to praise and thank God our Creator.
Throughout history, humankind has variously responded to God our Creator. Scientists have searched for answers through evolutionary theory, metaphysics, and "deep ecology." People of various religions have sought truths about creation and life. Sometimes, people confused and misidentified nature, the earth, and creatures themselves as "gods."
When persons find God, they find the source of all truth, all that is good, beautiful, unifying, and holy. Today as we are in sorrow at the tragedies of life and the world, we realize that every one of us is called to holiness, to live in accord with our families, communities, and creation around us. We live holy lives when we radiate the love and peace of God, and when we offer Him our hearts, hands, minds, and strength to share in His work of creation. The opposite of God's Goodness and Life is evil; in fact, it is literally the opposite spelling of the word "Live." We are called to plant and to restore, to nurture life, not to destroy.
To save all humankind from all that which is not life giving, God inspired the authors of Holy Scripture, i.e., the Holy Bible—The Word of God, to tell us about their experiences leading them to the Loving God whom called them. They were Israelites, the Hebrews, the Jews, and the first Christians. They told us about God and life from their perspectives and experiences living close to the land and sea as shepherds, farmers, and fishermen. For us as Christians, we believe that God sent us His only Son, Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We listen to Him Who is the Word Himself when we read the Holy Bible and hear the Word proclaimed.
Our reflecting upon Biblical passages directs us to our Triune God, one God in three Persons, the Mystery beautifully reflected in the form of the shamrock by St. Patrick. The first leaflet reminds us of the first Person of this Trinity, the Providential Father and Creator. The second leaflet reminds us of the second Person, Jesus Son of God and Son of Man, the new Adam, the Living Word Himself. Finally, the third leaflet reminds us of the third Person, the Holy Spirit, the Love between the Father and the Son, Who renews the Life of God within us and in the Church. Together the three leaflets are one leaf. We pray to the Father, through our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit. We are changed and renewed by God's new creation through the Resurrection of Jesus.
May God bless us and guide us on our continuing lifelong journey to Him. The pilgrimage begins from a tiny seed (our conception), to germination (our birth), to growth as a seedling (our childhood and youth), to growth into a mature tree (our adulthood), and finally to death (and Heaven, if we choose God's Way of Life, thanks be to God). May we be firmly rooted in faith and the life of the Church, the Word and the Sacraments. May we grow with the Light of Christ and together form that perfect tree, the living vine, the Kingdom of God.
May the Mother of Jesus, the Mother given to us at the "tree" of the Cross, shower us with healing and life-giving graces from God. She replaces Eve as the mother of all the living. Because she is the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary is a wonderful advocate. She and all the saints were responsible stewards of life. The angels, too, treasure life; they sang at the birth of the Christ Child, cried at the death of our Savior, and rejoiced at the Resurrection. May all the saints and angels guide all of us to Jesus, the Light of the World, the Living Water, and the Bread of Life. May the words of Holy Scripture and the images of God's creation remind us that we are all created in God's image and are called to live united as the human family, as God's children, in justice and peace as brothers and sisters.
Selected Scriptural passages are grouped into topics or themes associated with God's creation and life. It is best to reflect upon Holy Scripture within the proper context of associated verses, Biblical themes, historical events, and their meaning for us today. Following selected verses, I have quoted from Catholic Saints and scholars of various faiths to reflect upon the Mystery of God's creation and our role as servants of one another, and caretakers of life and the environment. We would do well to reflect upon their encouraging thoughts. May God inspire us to share our faith as well.
And the philosopher, always holding converse through reason with the idea of being, is also dark from excess of light; for the souls of the many have no eye which can endure the vision of the divine.
—Plato (428–348 BC), The Sophist.
Nature has some perfections, to show that she is the image of God; and some defects, to show that she is only His image.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). Pensées , Sect. VIII.
Life is motion, a tending toward a purpose.
—St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894–1941). Aim Higher!: Spiritual and Marian reflections of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Prow Books / Franciscan Marytown Press.
(C) 2002 by Anthony R. Brach.