St. Paul talks about creation, the world, the universe; it is suffering, waiting for redemption. (To see the words of St. Paul, click here.) But I thought only people needed redemption because only people can sin. Yes, people sin, but because people sin, the earth, the world, nature suffer. So nature, the world, the universe is waiting for full redemption.
Go back to the beginning of the Bible, Genesis, the story of Adam and Eve, the very beginning; they were happy together, happy in a beautiful world; there were flowers and trees and more than enough food. Everything was peaceful; everything fit together perfectly. Then what happened? Sin came. Human persons wanted to be in charge; they wanted to be equal to God; they were arrogant. They wanted full power, full control. It was always “me me me me,” the all-powerful “I.” It was the great sin. Everything became pulled apart; there was unity and peace before; now came fighting and killing. Nature, the world, were mixed up.
We see, now it is true; people became arrogant, they want to destroy nature, take things for themselves, for their own benefit. Water became dirty; people didn’t care. People wanted money, more and more money. Dirty stuff, they threw in the water; they didn’t care; they polluted the water, polluted the air, because now they want to make more money. As a result, the world, the earth suffers. We suffer: it is too hot; waters are rising in the ocean; hurricanes are becoming worse, because people didn’t care. They didn’t care about the future. They wanted money now; they want to profit now. The future, they didn’t care about at all.
In the second reading today, St. Paul says all creation, all the world, all the earth is suffering, waiting for salvation to come. The earth, the world, the universe wants change. All want a return to the peaceful, the beautiful reality that was there in the beginning before humans became selfish, greedy; they wanted more and more; they were interested only in their own benefit, they didn’t care about nature, they didn’t care about anyone else. But change can happen, it can; change can happen for all the earth. There is hope.
Change happens already right now; here in this Eucharist you see change happening. A little bit of bread, a little bit of wine, something from the earth, is changed. It becomes God, the person of God here with us. The bread and the wine become holy; they become perfect. Why? So that you and I, we look and we wonder and say, “Wow. Yes.”
We bow down before the Eucharist; why? We know that God has come to us. More important, this little part of the world becoming changed, it is given to us. Why? Given to us to change us, to help us become more like Jesus. Then what happens? The attitudes that we have as human persons change; the hurt that we cause our earth, the hurt that we cause in other people, this is changed. We set it aside. The “me me me,” the great “I” is set aside.
The great selfishness is pushed away. You and I change, little by little, because Jesus Christ’s grace is with us. And when we change, little by little, the world, the universe, the earth slowly becomes a place of unity and peace, and salvation comes to all our world. It is what Jesus wanted to do, to bring peace to all humanity, to bring peace to all of us and to all the earth as well.