First Sunday of Lent

“Loving God’s Creation”

It is Service Project time for Elementary Religious Education. This year the Wednesday Club 56 students unanimously voted to help shelter animals. We are collecting treats and toys to donate for their care. I was struck, but not surprised, by the students’ intense desire to help animals.

In the First Reading, Genesis 9:8-15. we hear God includes all the animals in the covenant that He made with Noah when the flood ended. From the beginning, God called Adam to care for the animals. Caring for animals is part of our call and responsibility as Christians. It is echoed in other places in the Bible too. God claims all creatures as His own and instructs us to care for all of His creation.

The well-known Saint Francis of Assisi demonstrated this call well. There are several stories of him ministering to and caring for various animals-donkeys, bunnies, sheep, birds and even a wolf! He preached to them and reminded them to praise their Creator!

It all struck me sitting at a stoplight. A large flock of birds whooshed overhead landing next to me. My eye noticed a single beautiful starling pecking around for a tasty treat. Hmm, just think, God created, loves, and cares for that little bird right there. My heart smiled.