I collect smiley faces. The crown jewels of my collection are Harvey Ball autographed smileys and McCoy pottery smileys. When I started my collection, I looked for the McCoy symbol on each pottery piece, to verify it was a “real McCoy.” The stamp of the symbol told me that it had been made in the 1970s and was indeed made by the Ohio manufacturer. Without a stamp, I could only assume it was a counterfeit or copycat piece, coming from nowhere special and belonging to no known entity.
In a 2009 address, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke about the Holy Trinity in this way: “The ‘name’ of the Blessed Trinity is, in a certain sense, imprinted upon all things because all that exists, down to the last particle, is in relation; in this way we catch a glimpse of God as relationship and ultimately, Creator Love. All things derive from love, aspire to love and move impelled by love.” That means that you and I, and all material things, bear this imprint. The mark indicates our origin and Creator.
This implies three important realities: first, all creation is important and precious; second, all creation belongs to the Creator whose mark is imprinted on it; and third, the origin and purpose of that creation is love. Good stewards, then, should cherish everything and everyone around them and treat all of it with great care and compassion. Our belongings and the resources used to create them all bear the mark. Our children, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, and enemies–all bear the mark. There is nothing and no one who belongs to no known entity. It is all God’s. It is all the real McCoy.