In this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is calling us to express mercy in many ways, including for God’s creation. Today’s first reading from Jeremiah identifies those “who trust in human beings, who seek his strength in flesh” with creation imagery that is rather undesirable – barren bush, lava waste, empty earth. Isn’t this true of humanity’s tendency to trust our own desires, abusing the created world for our personal benefit and leaving it barren, wasted, and empty? Jeremiah goes on to identify those “who trust in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord” with creation imagery of a planted tree, of green leaves, of bearing fruit.

If we are to take Jeremiah’s message to heart today, we realize that if we trust in God’s love and plan for creation we will indeed be satisfied. Merciful God, forgive our human failings and guide us to care for the gift of creation.

—Sadie Curtin serves as Co-Director of Faith Formation at the Church of the Gesu, University Heights, OH.