Recognizing goodness in the world is an art form that brings happiness. Too often in our day to day life, we run into others, and maybe it’s even ourselves, who seem to live to find fault with just about everything and everyone. And sometimes it’s understandable: life is hard, and some days the bad seems to pile on so much that we can’t see anything good. But I think we need to be constantly looking for the good if we ever want to find peace.
In today’s readings, there is goodness all over the place. This morning we begin the reading of the creation narrative from Genesis. Today we have the first four of the days, in which God creates day and night, the sky, sea and earth and everything that grows on it, and the sun, moon, and all the lights of the sky. God’s reflection on these moments of creation is worth noting: he finds them good.
Just in case “good” doesn’t sound like much, we have to know that goodness is an attribute of God: God is goodness itself, goodness in its purest form, good beyond which nothing can be. So when God says that something is good, He’s not just saying, “eh, you know, I guess it’s good,” but more like, “now, that’s good.”
And we can probably resonate in some way with that reflection. Haven’t we been on vacation, you know, back when we could do those things without fear of a pandemic, and out on the road trip, we come across scenery that’s new to us: maybe a mountain range, or the shores of the ocean, or a beautiful canyon or forest range. When we have taken that in, maybe we’ve gasped a breath of air, and thought, “now that’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.” We’ve noticed the goodness in it.
Perhaps, too, we can notice the goodness in a person God has created. One whose love comes across brilliantly, a person who restores our faith in humanity. Maybe when we’ve met someone like that, we might say to ourselves, “now she’s a good person” or “he’s really good to his loved ones.” Hopefully, there are people in our lives in whom we have seen goodness.
People who look for goodness in the world are most likely to find it. People who are on the lookout for people or places or creation that fills them with a sense of goodness are more likely to be close to God. Our reflection today needs to take us on the hunt for goodness. After we’ve left this place of worship, will we be ready to abandon seeing what’s wrong with everything and everyone, and instead look for what’s good? Will we be ready to see the good things that God is giving us? Will we be ready to see God?