"28 God blessed them, saying to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.'
29 God also said, 'Look, to you I give all the seed-bearing plants everywhere on the surface of the earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this will be your food.
30 And to all the wild animals, all the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that creep along the ground, I give all the foliage of the plants as their food.' And so it was.
31 God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day." (Genesis]
We cannot go forward without remembering all the times that Jesus reminded us of our relationship with nature. Jesus came to redeem us, true. It is also inescapable that in doing so He was here to save nature. He was here tying nature to our graced relationship with Him and His Father. How many times does the Gospel remind us that our behavior towards nature is united to our eternal salvation? Because we are not Jewish, we don't relate deeply to the complete law of the Sabbath. We don't live with the moral imperative of giving the land a rest every seventh year. Jesus put it to us a different way. He taught us how the laws of nature teach us about the Kingdom of Heaven. He taught us that the grace of Genesis is included in His mandate to save the world, in every respect, moral and natural.
Our heavenly mother Mary came to La Salette and drove the point home. She connected our sinful behavior and our righteous behavior to the productivity of the land. She made us see that our sin and our virtue are not detached from our relationship with the universe. When we are bad, the world goes badly. When we are good, the world goes better. When we rape the land, the sin falls back upon us and we suffer in ways that we cannot conquer except through restitution. Yes, we all know that nature demands to be nurtured. What we must all remember is that it is not just the "law of nature." Our relationship with nature is an intimate part of our relationship with one another and with God. The story of the land of Coin and the promise of the self-sown potatoes are a clear lesson about that.
Now, what about us? We, Missionaries of Our Weeping Mother, do we give any thought to the mystery of our reconciling relationship between Us, our Brothers and Sisters and God Himself as we live it out in our natural environment? Do we occasionally think that Our Lady could have been weeping for the way that we mistreat her Son's gift of nature? Do we occasionally think about the way our mistreatment of nature defies the Creator's mandate from Genesis? And, yes, why not, even from the Torah? Do we suppose that Mary could have been crying over the way we exploit animals after all the good things that her Son had to say about sheep?
As a matter of fact, brothers and sisters, we Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette have indeed taken note, official note, about such things. Let me call your attention to the closing statement from the recently terminated General Chapter. In this august document we read: "We also called for the ecological aspects of reconciliation to be explored."
["A vision of a Gifted and United Community" -- Signed by the newly elected General Council, led by Father Silvano Marisa, MS, General Superior]
I leave you with these thoughts in the hope that together with the little picture at the top, this presentation makes sense to one and all.