3 April, Saturday — Respect and Care for Creation

Holy Saturday — First Reading

Gn 1:1-2:2 Ps 104:1-2,5-6,10,12,13-14,24,35

God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

As part of my daily morning routine, I would marvel at the sight of God’s creation first – the crisp morning air, quirky sounds from Asian Koels and fluffy clouds dotting the skies before entering into my prayers. It is easy to associate all things beautiful to the work of God and it helps us to enter into a comfortable state of mind where we can open up our hearts to listen to His promptings. In fact, most of the Youtube videos associated with God’s creation are often based on nature or scenic themes to relate to the viewer – beautiful, breathtaking, awe-inspiring landscapes and fauna.

While reflecting on today’s reading from Genesis, I’m reminded again of God’s hand in all things – beautiful or otherwise. Beyond the puppies, birds and flora, there also lies the creepy crawlies, ferocious wildlife and poisonous plants. It’s hard to imagine the latter being part of God’s plan; even harder when it comes to ‘finding them very good’. Closer to home, I’m reminded of my No. 1 pet peeve – the cockroach, and wonder what good can come from these pests. Apparently, they play an important role in the ecosystem by being a food source for other animals, helping to fertilize the soil and breaking down decomposing matter that other creatures don’t want to eat.

Similarly, the same would apply to humans and how we are able to associate them as fellow beings of God’s intricate plan, regardless of how they turn out in life. It is easier to treat people who we deem to be kind in the way Christ taught us to, but so much tougher when we have negative connotations of others. How do we deal with the horrible bosses, incompetent subordinates, and friends with toxic relationships that draw us further from being the ideal Christian? Often, we hear phrases like “He/She hasn’t earned my respect” or “I’ve been always giving in but getting nothing in return”. I think it’s perfectly normal to feel this way, even though it probably isn’t the attitude that God wants us to have. There isn’t a simple remedy, and perhaps no human being could perfect the ‘love thy enemies’ command in all aspects of their lives. Personally, I think it requires a close relationship with Jesus in order to cultivate that awareness of seeing everyone with ‘Christ-tinted’ glasses. That process might take an entire lifetime, but we can start off by acknowledging that everyone has their weaknesses and respect them by virtue of their position, even though we don’t think that they are deserving. Ultimately, all of us are a ‘work-in-progress’ and the only way we can improve is to recognize our weakness and commit to small improvements along the way. As Lent draws to a close, let us take this opportunity to examine our relationships and how we can be more cordial with the difficult people in our lives.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Dylan Tan)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us the courage and resolve to engage others more actively. May we always remember that everyone is your intricate creation and guide us to see the good of others and not dwell on the negatives.     

Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for always loving and being there for us. Please send your Holy Spirit to guide us in our journey and draw us closer to Christ.    

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