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Ecology Reflections from Fr. John Surette, SJ

John Surette, SJ

“His Father ordered the servants: Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet… let us celebrate with a feast… (Luke 15:22-23)

What is this feast, this celebration, this banquet that God prepares and to which all of us prodigal daughters and sons are invited?

In its largest dimension it is a cosmic feast, a celebration that has been going on for the past 13.8 billion years since the Divine creative energy was at work in the birth of God’s Universe.

The galaxies are at the feast, all hundreds of billions of them. They bring all that they can be to the celebration and place it on the banquet table. Our Sun is there with its planets including our beautiful planet Earth. Our Sun brings its fullness to the feast and places that fullness on the table. Earth’s rocks are there, from then oldest known in Eastern Greenland to the newest pushing up along the ocean floors. They bring their uniqueness to the feast and place it on the banquet table.

Earth’s life-forms are there. They bring diversity and beauty to the celebration and make it available to all. And, of course, we humans are also present at the banquet. We place on the table all of our religions, races, and ethnic groups, our cultural, artistic, and scientific achievements. The banquet is indeed a cosmic celebration!

The table is set with many lovely thing. We humans didn’t set the table but we belong at it. We are invited to take what we need. While avoiding the pervasive sin of over-consumption we are invited to take nourishment for our lives, for our souls.

We humans are not in charge of the banquet as some might think. We are, on the contrary, utterly dependent upon it. Everything and everyone at the celebration is food for us, is gift for us. The table is spread before us. Our cups are overflowing. How blessed and gifted we are!

At the banquet we humans are also invited to be food, to be gift, for God’s Universe, for Earth, and for each other. Others have a right to partake of us and to nourish themselves from our lives, our fullness, our faith, hope, love, and creativity. We are called to make our life substance and our life energy available to all others at the celebration.

Each of us is among the lovely things on the banquet table. How tasty and nourishing are we? Do we try to understand and celebrate all the different and unique persons and things present at the banquet? Are we alive and sensitive to the sacredness that is the celebration itself? Do we participate in and stand humble before the depths of the communion of all the beings seated at the table? Are we good food for the others? If we are, may these others eat and drink of us to their contentment.

May the feasting begin!


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