Like many of you, when I take a vacation somewhere with natural beauty, I am always amazed at it. For several years, my family used to vacation up in Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Michigan. I was always in awe to see the sun rise over the lake, or after a rain, to see the sometimes double rainbows that appear. Whenever I am in awe like that, I think about our wonderful creator God who put all that in place. I am always doubly convinced that nothing like that could ever have come about as the result of chance or coincidence or random serendipity. I am reminded that God is beauty itself, and that this is a dim reflection of Eden, or perhaps just a glimpse of the beauty of the Kingdom.
So how is it that some people miss that? It’s too bad that they do, because today’s first reading seems to suggest that we will all be held accountable for God’s revelation in nature. Even if someone is not churched, they must still be able to see God in nature, and would thus be held accountable for knowing and acknowledging the creator God. The Church recognizes this revelation and prays that it would be a first step in bringing a person to the Gospel.
For those of us in the Church, we are responsible for acknowledging and loving the beauty of God all around us. We should see God in every created thing and in every created person. We do not then, as St. Paul warns the Romans, worship the created thing. Instead we worship and glorify our Creator who made beauty known among us and let that beauty be part of the revelation of his love for us.