#AdventHope Reflection: Through God, we can restore hope

December 15, 2020

photo by Jojo Lacerona

“… And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:36-37)

“… for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us.” (Laudato Si’ 13)

By Maryanne Owiti
Laudato Si’ Animator in Nairobi, Kenya

For the past couple of years, news reports have looked like the opening scene of an apocalyptic, dystopian film: raging forest fires, monster typhoons, and dangerous diseases devastating communities.

With a general malaise of well-being and a wanton disregard for life, it can be easy to give in to the despair of a doomsday scenario. But only if we forget about God, the all-powerful Creator.

The Gospel for Sunday reminds us that while our current situation appears dire and in some cases beyond repair, “nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

 Maryanne Owiti

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “Creation is the foundation of ‘all God’s saving plans,’ the ‘’beginning of the history of salvation’ that culminates in Christ.” (280)

Scripture teaches us that God loves the world. “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it.” (Wisdom 11:24) How then could God abandon Creation?

We see this love in the story of Noah, how despite sending a flood to destroy the Earth, God offered a path of salvation to creation. We see this love, also, with Jesus on the cross: “For in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible… in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:16-20)

We should not assume that the message of salvation is for humanity alone. “… creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God… in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19, 21) Salvation means a healed creation.

The Gospel of creation and the Gospel of salvation is that God has not abandoned the Earth. Recall the parables of Jesus when he refers to the kingdom of heaven as a seed, a field, a vineyard, a dragnet cast into the sea. The covenant God made with Noah, his descendants, and every living creature that was in the ark remains.

This, however, does not absolve us of our responsibilities as stewards of creation. Let us not forget that it was for Noah’s sake that the world was not utterly destroyed. The implication of the covenant with Noah is that “all it takes is one good person to restore hope!” (LS 71) The other implication is that hope is restored only through God.

Maryanne Owiti is a Laudato Si’ Animator and volunteer staff member at GCCM Africa. Hers is the fourth and final scriptural reflection to be published during the 2020 Advent season. For more Advent resources, click here.