The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Eternal Creation

July 16, 2017 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

July 16, 2017
Romans 8:18-23
Fr. George Smiga

When I was in the fifth grade, I really wanted a dog. “No way,” my mother said. “After a few months you’ll tire of that dog, and I will have to take care of it.” She was right, of course. I will not ask for a hand-count of how many parents quickly became the primary care givers of their children’s pets. That is not my point. Because I could not have a dog, I convinced my parents to let me keep a goldfish. A goldfish is not exciting as a dog. But I enjoyed feeding it and watching it swim around in the little bowl that was its home. Then one morning I got up and there it was floating on the water as dead as could be. We buried the goldfish in the backyard, and after the funeral I asked my father, “Do you think my goldfish is now with Jesus?” “That’s a good question,” my father said. “Why don’t you ask your religion teacher? This is why we send you to Catholic school.”

So the next day I asked Sister Philomena, “Is my goldfish in heaven?” “Not a chance,” she said. “Eternal life is only for human beings. When an animal dies, it’s just dead.” Not very consoling words for someone who just buried a goldfish, but Sister Philomena was not making them up. In the 1850’s Pious IX taught that animals do not have a rational soul and therefore cannot distinguish between good and evil. So animals are incapable of eternal life. This teaching was, by and large, Catholic teaching to our present day. Then in 2015 Pope Francis released his Encyclical, Laudato Si. In that encyclical he boldly states that every creature gloriously transformed will share in eternal life. Now, I like Pope Francis, but I can’t give him credit for those thoughts because Paul says the same thing in today’s second reading. He tells the Romans that when Jesus returns in glory, all of creation will share in that glory with him—all of creation, not just humans, not just animals, but trees and mountains and oceans as well. God made all that is, and God made all that is good. So when Jesus comes to finish his work of salvation, all of creation will be gloriously transformed into a new existence. Paul even uses the image of all creation groaning as in labor pains, because all of creation is ready to give birth to the Kingdom of God.

Now, if we accept Paul’s words, and I think we should, it seems to me that there are two consequences: respect and delight. If all that is comes from God’s hands, then we should respect all that God has made. Respect every creature. Now, all creatures are not of equal value. A baby is worth a lot more than a flea. But every creature in its own way reflects a part of God’s goodness and glory. Therefore, even as we use creation for our own benefit, for our nourishment and technological advances, we should use other creatures with reverence, because they are holy. Creation deserves our respect.

Creation should also lead to delight. In these beautiful summer days we should rejoice in what God has made. When you laugh at the speed with which your dog goes after his ball, or are stunned by how green the grass is, or are suddenly lifted up by the sweet smell of fir trees in the woods, remember all of these creatures are not only good and beautiful—they are eternal.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options