What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs, like the music of a harp? Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?
Let us put into practice the supreme and primary law of God. He sends down rain on just and sinful alike, and causes the sun to rise on all without distinction. To all earth’s creatures he has given the broad earth, the springs, the rivers and the forests. He has given the air to the birds, and the waters to those who live in the water. He has given abundantly to all the basic needs of life, not as a private possession, not restricted by law, not divided by boundaries, but as common to all, amply and in rich measure. His gifts are not deficient in any way, because he wanted to give equality of blessing to equality of worth, and to show the abundance of his generosity.
Oratio 14, De Pauperum amore Saint Gregory of Nazianzen, bishop
Part of today's goal was to comment upon the fabricated dichotomy between science and faith. The first paragraph sort of states that God has generously lavished us with many gifts all of which science tries to explain for us. I think this is really a simple thing to get ones head around. Faith explains why; science explains how. Two different questions. Two different viewpoints. Neither of them are really incompatible with the other, unless you try to interpret the words of the why written in the Bible as actually occurring the way they say they do. There is nothing really contradictory between God creating the world and it actually taking millions of years, or the process through which it has been made. I think to try to distinguish between the two is just looking for a fight that really isn't there. Modern science and the modern church are really looking at the stars from different points on the prism, but looking at the same thing in reality.
But this passage and today's gospel require some comment as well: "he wanted to give equality of blessing to equality of worth..."
The last sentence of the second paragraph says more about the why that is critical to the Gospel passage from today (Matthew 25: 31-46). God has, in fact, showered us with blessings beyond our wildest imagination. Jesus calls us to be certain that we share our blessing with those less fortunate. To do so is a really good thing. To not do so results in a pretty nasty ending.
I've written about this concept a bunch before and will probably come back to it, because in our society today there is a tendency to forget about the poor, unfortunate, and marginalized. We need to heighten our response to these folks and get out of our self-centeredness to even have a beginning for turning this country around. Hopefully, our legislators in both our states and at the national level will figure this out before it's too late. One can only hope and pray.