In today’s Gospel Jesus asks his disciples to pay attention to what they see in creation. “Look at the birds in the sky,” he says. “Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.” There are so many beautiful things that God has created. If we are paying attention, they can help us to see how much God loves and cares for us. But are we paying attention?
I have always greatly admired the Native American people and their love and care for creation. They pay attention the land, sky, and animals. Do we take the time to stop and notice the beauty in creation? We spend a lot of our time in front of computer screens and looking at our cell phones. But did you notice the sunrise this morning, or the animals running about and eating? We can all probably recall a moment when something beautiful caught our attention. In God’s amazing love for us, he not only created this entire world for us, but he then gave us the great gift of being able to appreciated it. Of all the animals God created, only humans are able to fully appreciate beauty and to take delight in it.
As we experience the beauty of everything God has made, our response should be one of thanksgiving. The Native Americans are so good about seeing creation as a gift from the Great Spirit. It’s not property to be used and carelessly thrown away. It’s a gift. Consider how the tribes that traditionally lived in Kansas were able to use all parts of the buffalo and waste nothing. Like them, we must be good stewards of the gifts God has given. Because creation is a gift and we are thankful, we must take good care of our “common home” as Pope Francis refers to this planet.
So today, let’s learn from our native brothers and sisters to pay attention to creation, to delight in it, to recognize it as a gift, and to be good stewards. The overwhelming feeling in our hearts should be one of gratitude and praise. We should be able to pray like St. Francis, Laudato Si… Praise to You, Lord!