In today’s First Reading the Lord make a second covenant with Noah and all living beings after the waters of the Flood subside, a covenant marked forever by the rainbow, symbolizing that the Lord has hung up his bow (and arrow, so to speak) and will no longer wage war on the living via flood. Even today the dove, the olive branch, and the rainbow are symbols for peace, all images taken from Genesis.
The Lord reminds us today that all plants and animals are given to us as sustenance, but also that we must use and treat them responsibly. Shedding blood simply for its own sake is an abuse of life, and the Lord says we’ll be accountable for it. Food is a gift to us from God. Like Noah, we should acknowledge that with thanksgiving. The Lord also puts the blood of mankind on a different level: mankind has been made in the image of God, therefore striking down man is an offense to God as well as man.
Let’s say grace at meals today with a renewed spirit of Thanksgiving for the gift of sustenance.