CULTIVATE AND CARE FOR IT
Do we have good and grateful thoughts, or are they selfish and greedy thoughts? It is up to us to choose which thoughts to have.
We are one with the world around us: "The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground" (Gen 2:7). This is the same ground from which our heavenly Father makes the rest of creation. It is in this passage where we understand our stewardship of the earth and its relation to our oneness with all of creation.
We are "to cultivate and care for it" (Gen 2:15), our earth. We have many ties to the animal and plant world; we are all interdependent. If there is going to be anything morally bad in the earth, the guilt lies in the human being, the only being with free will. As Jesus stresses in the Gospel of Mark today, "Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile" (Mk 7:15). Mysteriously, we alone, out of all of creation, can be the source of trouble, sin, and disaster. What comes out of our minds, hearts, and imaginations is very important.
Our challenge today is that we need to know that God our Father is the source of everything good, and that He has every right to place limitations on our behaviors. God makes it perfectly clear to the "living being," that defiance of God will be harmful to us. Jesus says that it isn't food that makes a person unclean, but what comes from the heart that determines if we are clean or unclean. Do we have good and grateful thoughts, or are they selfish and greedy thoughts? It is up to us to choose which thoughts to have.
Today we can use the responsorial psalm as our prayer for a clean heart: "O bless the Lord, my soul!" (Ps 104). May we look to You, O God, and please send forth Your spirit, and renew the face of the earth. Amen!