Our obedience to God includes the proper care of what He has entrusted to us. Photo by Michael Swan

Man must serve God through His creation

  • June 25, 2015

The Book of Job, one of the great masterpieces of not only biblical literature, but all literature, is rarely read at Sunday Mass. Yet it was there last Sunday, a brief excerpt from the devastating speech of the Lord God to Job, who has dared to question Him: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the universe?

It was most suitable after a week dominated by news of the Holy Father’s encyclical on ecological matters, Laudato Si’. The Book of Job, with its exploration of the fundamental theme of the suffering of the innocent, constitutes a meditation on how to understand the consequences of original sin, one of which is the disharmony between man and creation. And in the awful and awesome reply of God to Job beginning in chapter 38, the fundamental principle of biblical environmentalism is made clear — we worship the God who created the natural world, not the forces of nature themselves.

Of the writing of commentaries on the books of Scriptures there is no end, but some years back I discovered the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, which is a commentary aimed at the ordinary Catholic seeking a deeper encounter with God’s holy word. I have used it with students over the years to great profit. Written by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, it is one of the many fruits of Hahn’s prodigious work of opening the Scriptures to Catholics. All the New Testament books are done and can be had in a single very useful volume now. The Old Testament books are still underway, though the principal books of Genesis and Exodus are complete. The commentary on Job came out last year and I was reading it in preparation for Sunday preaching when the encyclical was published...

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