“Humans are commanded to care for God’s creation (Genesis 2:15).”
Summertime is a season for the senses, abounding with awesome natural beauty. Flowers in dazzling colors contrast with lush green grass and brilliant blue skies to create a beautiful landscape. We can truly appreciate the wonder of God’s creation on a sunny summer day. From grassy fields to sandy shores, summer is a showcase of the pure beauty of nature.
In the midst of admiring the glorious summer landscape, we should pause to remember that we are the stewards of this planet. God created the world and has entrusted it to the human beings whom he also created. According to the Bible, we are called by God to be stewards of creation. God has placed the Earth under the management of all his disciples. We ought to obey God and show Him respect by protecting the environment and helping it to flourish. Caring for the Earth and all God’s creation is a fundamental requirement of our faith.
There are ten foundational principles which comprise the social teaching of the Church. The Principle of Stewardship is also known as Care for God’s Creation. Pope Francis states, “Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” Protection and preservation of the environment helps to promote the common good, which is vitally important to the well-being of society as a whole.
As Christian stewards, we should be grateful for God’s gifts, cultivating them responsibly and sharing them with others, ultimately returning them to God in an even better state than they were given to us. Stewardship has the ability to shape us as disciples and help us live in a better and more responsible manner. It is challenging to be a steward of the Earth, given the dominant secular culture of our society so often driven by greed and selfishness, but those who do so will find great joy.
We look to Jesus’ example for guidance in how to be a good steward of the Earth. Jesus calls us individually to a vocation, our unique role in God’s divine plan. Part of each human’s individual vocation includes stewardship of the Earth. Jesus taught his disciples to show gratitude for the gifts we receive and to use them to show our love for God and our brothers and sisters. Caring for God’s creation builds up our world as well as the Kingdom of God.
We are called by God to give support in the way of time, money, prayers and service as part of our duty of stewardship. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides many opportunities for those who desire to be good stewards of God’s creation and in turn promote the common good of society.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia has many ways, customized to each local community, for you to transform the lives of your neighbors as well as your own life. Like that of its founder, blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the vision of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul “is to embrace the world in a network of charity.”