We Are Custodians of Creation

March 12th 2021
The Amazon rainforests of Brazil are one of God’s great gifts to the planet. They provide the Earth with an irreplaceable ecosystem. The 390 billion trees of the Amazon rainforest capture massive amounts of carbon in their leaves, branches, and trunks. One study estimates these forests store some 86 billion tons of carbon toward reducing pollution. Brazilian Bishop Roque Paloschi tells of attending a government meeting dealing with the impact of economic development on the poor, indigenous people of the Amazon. At one point, a Yanomami leader stood up and replied, "We are not poor. We have the entire forest. We do not oppose development, but,.. what kind of development is it that destroys nature and poisons the land and the water to concentrate profit in the hands of a few?" Sadly, the lands of these indigenous people have long endured the physical and cultural threat of unchecked economic development.

Pope Francis recently told an audience that “custody of creation is custody of God’s gift to us and it is also a way of saying thank you to God... creation is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. Humans are custodians [of] creation, not masters of creation. It [creation] is a gift that the Lord has given to us. But when we exploit creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us,”

In his encyclical on the Care of Our Common Home, Francis tells us, “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic and political” (Laudato Si', p.25). And elsewhere, "If we destroy creation, then creation will destroy us. Never forget this." Recycling an aluminum can, planting new trees, flipping off the light switch can all serve as thank-you notes to God. Personal actions are helpful. But consider what we can accomplish by working collectively together for structural change.. As travelers on this globe, we are dependent upon Earth for our sustenance. … let us recognize what it means to respect all that God has created and to be our neighbor's keepers. The Earth depends on it.
   - Tom.