The first reading this coming Sunday offers an eco-theology that we are not seriously enough given our current environmental disaster looming clearly caused by us humans and the destructive ways we have chosen to live.

However note the larger context. The author is remembering the Exodus, when Hebrews were in the desert forty years. In that extreme environment they experienced God’s care for them. The author brings this up to remind us that God is the God of all creation, and everything works together for good. We don’t always see the good in the natural world.

Vs. 26d is curious. “For your imperishable spirit is in all things.” This borders on panentheism. The passage concludes with a praise for God’s mercy, displayed in the natural world, that invites the wicked to conversion.

Like Zacchaeus in the Gospel, it is never too late or too impossible to turn to the Lord for mercy. Furthermore, like Zacchaeus, reparations and repair must be done to the environment. Zacchaeus makes an effort to restore and repair the social environment of Jericho that he had profited from. We profit from the environment as if we owned it, but we do not. We seem to have forgotten the point of the Wisdom passage, that God will take care of us. Yet, we don’t believe this really, and so we have taken matters into our own hands.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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