is nature too reacting by lindash

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									        IS NATURE TOO REACTING?
                                         FR MATHEW ELAVUNGAL.

I recollect an experience during a house visit in a parish in Kerala. I went to a house built
magnificently, but now was in a state of utter neglect. I pressed the door bell, but it didn‟t
ring as it was disconnected. When the person who accompanied me to show me the way,
knocked at the door, a lady came and opened the door -a middle aged woman who
suppressed a lot of pain within. She appeared very tired; besides, one could see the
shadows of fear and suspicion on her face. She refused to invite me into her house as she
felt firmly that her house was not a suitable place for God‟s anointed, the priests, to enter.
She spoke to me for about 4 minutes standing in the veranda and from what she shared
briefly about the history of her family and the tragic memories of the past, I received
some insight. I could sense the pall of gloom that seemed to pervade the entire area
including the dilapidated house and even that lady.

She said, “Father, almost twenty years ago, my husband was staying in a beautifully
constructed house situated in the middle of 60 acres of rubber estate, with his parents, me
and our five year old son. He fell in bad company and got addicted to alcohol and drugs
.One day, during an argument in the house, he hacked both his parents to death. My five
year old child witnessed this gruesome sight, screamed and lost the power of speech for
ever. Later, at the age of 15, he fell into a well and lost his life. To wriggle out of the
court case, he spent quite a lot of money , but it was in vain. He lost the case , in spite of
having spent a huge sum by selling 55 acres of land. He came out of prison ,having
completed a life time imprisonment and made an attempt to pick up threads of a new life
by doing farming in whatever land that was left. But he did not succeed. That earth didn‟t
yield any crop. It was not possible to get any sleep in the house. Even the water in the
well had an unpleasant taste.” Having stated this much she stopped abruptly.

We may infer that the root cause of all their problems is their fear and guilt feeling. But
that day, some of us- the vicar of the parish and sisters, me and the person who
accompanied me - prayed in that family and blessed the house. Consequently the husband
and the wife attended a retreat for a week. As a result, there were changes not only in the
couple, but in the house, in their crops, in the water of the well. This testifies one thing –
any heinous deed will cause a great disorder due to satanic attacks, demonic influence or
an evil presence in us, in the house where we reside, in the surroundings and in the entire
set up. But when we come closer to Jesus, all these will change. “Therefore, if any one is
in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (2
Cor 5:17). It is not as we desire that we see God‟s intervention in our lives and the
consequent effect of it and the completion of it. It may not happen instantaneously as we
expect or within a time frame that we set. God will set right everything according to his
own plan and in his own time. The above mentioned couple, on spending one full month
attending retreat, listening to the Word of God and in prayer and fasting, was blessed
with a child when the lady was 44. The presence of that child, a gift from heaven in that
house which was engulfed in sin, curse and tragedy, turned it into heaven once again.
GOD LOOKED AT EVERYTHING AND HE WAS PLEASED:

The book of Genesis Chapter 1 gives a detailed description as to how God created this
magnificent universe. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was
very good.” (Gen 1:31). But now, in this world where we live, we see great disorder.
What is the reason for this? There were many boons which this world enjoyed earlier but
we have lost them due to certain circumstances.

The whole universe, all the arrangements in it and all the living creatures which God
created in it, had been in a special relationship with God As a result, they had been filled
with the grace of God and enveloped in His special protection. The universe as well as
the human beings in it - the best of his creations (Psalms 8:5), and also man‟s great
relationship with God -all took a beating. The main reason for this calamity was that the
life of God that had been flowing to all the creations was blocked due to the original sin.
The gracious protection which enveloped all the creations initially had disappeared. This
is how it has caused disorder in nature.

ABSENCE OF GOD‟S GRACE LEADS TO CALAMITY:

Every creation in the universe has a mission- to bring out the glory of God that is innate
in it and also to strive to fulfill it in the highest form possible. This mission began right
from the initial moment of creation itself. We read in the first chapter of Genesis thus,
“And so the whole universe was completed.” But this completeness did not sustain for
long in case of man due to the first sin, “And to Adam he said, "Because you have
listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,
`You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all
the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the
plants of the field.” (Gen.3: 17-18). What he meant by thorns and thistles is the response
of nature. What is the reason for the growth of the thorns and thistles on earth where
originally every kind of tree was enticing to look at and good to eat from?

This is the calamity that struck the earth when it moved to a state of gracelessness,
contradicting the plan of God. This world started degrading into a state of decay as the
grace was lost due to the original sin. Romans 8:21-22 states “because the creation itself
will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children
of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now”

THE EVIL EFFECTS OF SIN:

The second evil effect of the original sin of our first parents was that the order that has to
be spread all over the nature and the universe through man was adversely affected. We
are already aware of the first evil effect; that is man‟s relationship with God has become a
strained one, as a result, he, who should have been the holy vessel of God‟s grace, has
become spiritually lifeless, being devoid of God‟s grace. The second evil effect is an off
shoot of the first one. The prophet Isaiah says thus of the tragic consequence that all the
creations in the universe and the nature had to face, “The earth mourns and withers, the
world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth. The earth lies
polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:4-5). “For the windows of heaven are
opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is
rent asunder, and the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man, it
sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.”
(Isaiah 24:18-20). “How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field withers?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away."
 (Jer 12:4). From this scripture, we realize that the cause for all natural calamities is the
wickedness of man.

THE GOD WHO BUILDS A FORT AROUND:

God has made an envelope of grace around God‟s own children. In the book of Job, this
circle of grace is described as a „hedge‟. “Hast thou not put a hedge about him and his
house and all that he has, on every side? (Job 1:10). This heavenly hedge is the
fortification we see in the Bible. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress” (2 Sam 22:2).
„God himself defends the walls.‟ (Isaiah 26:1).

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I
take refuge, my shield.” (Psalms 18: 2). “Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress,
to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.” (Psalms 71:3) „will say to the LORD,
"My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust." (Psalms 91:2). my rock and my
fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer. (Psalms 144:2).

We experience a heavenly protection when God, who builds a heavenly fortress or wall
around us, his children, and around our families and wealth. (Job 1:10). This fortress of
grace which is built around us is in fact, the grace of God that is poured into our hearts as
we get close to him - the presence of God within us. The grace or the life of God that
comes upon the spirit of an individual due to his union with God leads him to receive
God‟s anointment. God‟s will is that this anointment should radiate and gush into other
individuals, the atmosphere even to the soil where he has set his foot and thus to all
creation. But when the relationship with God is strained and when the spirit undergoes a
state of decay, this flow and radiation of God‟s grace stops. The nakedness experienced
by the first parents mentioned in Genesis 3:17 is the absence of the wall of grace around
them that they felt when the grace within was lost. In that person whose wall of grace is
affected, Satan‟s destructive power or his evil power will enter. From such a person no
one or nothing can receive God‟s grace. Then he will have a dislike for himself. (Gen
3:12,13). Consequently the absence of grace will affect the universe around him and the
presence of evil will flow into the universe as a curse. (Gen 3:7-18).

DESTROY THE BASTIONS OF SATAN:

Jesus who caused the flow of God‟s mercy, care and grace once again ,into this world
which is maligned by sin and also to all the arrangements here and to human kind became
the sacrificial lamb in order to blot out all inequities and all the disorders and calamities
that came as a result of it. Satan‟s bastion will simply collapse if we receive all the
goodness of the heavenly sacrifice. The wall he built around the sinners will collapse.
The heavenly hedge, which we read in Job 1:10 will be built around us. But in order to
have this hedge around us we have to accept and adopt all the arrangements and means
Jesus has given us ; true faith, the Word of God, the Holy Eucharist, prayer (that is praise
and worship, intercessory prayer, prayer for mercy), fasting, deeds of charity, missionary
work, leading a holy and exemplary life – two miracles will take place through these –
the satanic wall will collapse; a heavenly fortress will be built around us. Thus we will
live in the security of God‟s children.

DIVINE ATONEMENT:

Through the mysteries of the assumption of human form, Jesus opened the gates of
heaven in order that mankind receives the grace that is lost. Man is freed from the laws of
sin and death through the law of the spirit which gives life in Jesus Christ. (Rom 8:2).
“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” ((Rom 8:3).
Thus all those who receive Jesus -the one who came to take away the sins of the world-
will receive the status as God‟s children with all the grace the first parents, Adam and
Eve, enjoyed initially. “But to those who did accept him, he gave power to become the
children of God.‟ “For the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of
God to be revealed.” (Rom 8:19). In Greek the word for „waiting with eagerness‟ is
„Apokaradokia‟. This means „looking out craning one‟s neck and holding one‟s head
erect.‟ (The preachers outline and sermon Bible Volume 2 Page 485) Thus the whole
creation that waits thus, upon being liberated from its slavery to corruption will be
brought into the same glorious freedom as the children of God. “The whole creation until
this time has been groaning in labour pains.”, reveals St. Paul (Rom 8:21,22).
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