Stewardship Of Creation
We, as human persons, are entrusted with care over creation. Being a steward of creation is to take care of what has been created or given by God. It is a responsibility which has been given to man from the beginning.
In the creation narrative in the Book of Genesis, each creation is good (Genesis 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:21, 1:25, 1:31). God creates the land and seas, and they are good (Genesis 1:10). He creates plants, and they are good (Genesis 1:12); the sea creatures and birds and they are good (Genesis 1:21), and again living creatures, livestock, and creeping things and they are good (Genesis 1:25). Finally, man and woman are created. They unlike the rest, are deemed very good (Genesis 1:31). Man is set apart from the rest of creation. As a set apart persons, they are called to care for the rest of creation. Later, after man is created, God invites him to “fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion” (Genesis 1:28). Man is invited to take care of the rest of creation which has been given to him.
The human person is invited into stewardship of creation. Being a steward requires man to take responsibility for the world around him. Creation has been entrusted to man. He has been invited to have dominion over the created world, as stated in Genesis. Each man, living in his specific time and place, has been entrusted with creation around him. It has been given to him. This entrustment is a great responsibility, because it requires man to look and love beyond himself. The created world is a gift for all mankind, those living in it and those who will receive it. To be a steward of creation is to look forward and anticipate the needs of those who will live after us and follow suit in being a steward of creation. Through stewardship, man can hear the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth (Laudato si’, 49). These two, as Pope Francis describes in Laudato si’, are interconnected. Man is a steward of both.
We garden because plants grow. It is not the other way around. Plants do not grow because we garden. They would grow even if man were not to garden. If they did not grow, gardening would not exist. Plants and creation as a whole has been entrusted to man. As his responsibility, man is supposed to care for it, as its steward. Creation is a gift to man. Every gift beckons a response. When you receive something, your response is a thank you. Likewise, creation is God’s gift to man. His stewardship of it is his response.
As we meet you in nature,
inspire us to see anew our place in the web of life.
In our daily lives,
help us to make daily choices that reflect global solidarity.
As we reflect on the teaching of our faith,
equip us to advocate for laws and policies that
reflect your call to faithful stewardship.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Act: Make a goal to be a steward of creation this week. What can you do each day? Write it down to stay on track.
- Pick up trash while on a walk
- Donate gently used clothing, housewares, and furniture to TurnStyles Thrift Stores.
- Use cold water when washing clothes
- Take a shorter shower
- Walk somewhere instead of driving