We are living in the sixth major extinction of life since life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago. The last time something similar happened was at the end of the end of the Mesozoic period 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs were wiped out.
Violence in all its forms is sinful because it destroys human dignity and the common good. When violence becomes institutionalized – as poverty, war, racism or environmental destruction – it becomes a form of idolatry, denying the sovereignty of God over all of creation and the redeeming power of Jesus Christ’s love.
“Myanmar’s biodiversity is a reflection of the diversity of it’s peoples. And their lives are intertwined and interconnected.”
I believe it is about time to look after and care for our environment and every creature. Time to take care of our true treasure.
The Covid-19 pandemic has paralysed life at a global level in a short period, and made us realise the interconnectedness and fragility of the world we live in. The next disaster looming on the horizon is climate change, and the impact on the poor, like now, will be disproportionately high.
Where else is the infinite creativity of the Triune God emerging as we move beyond the suffering toward transformation, liberation, and new life? Hopefully some of it is in our renewed efforts to change our lifestyles and reduce our reliance on fuels which are damaging our environment.
When participating in those Masses does our recalling the memory of Jesus challenge us to go out and get involved in changing society, to stand in solidarity with the victims? If it does not, if it just personally consoles us with no disturbing invitation to change society, is it not just reinforcing a society status quo which has created such inequalities? Might this not be an abuse of the Mass?
Columban missionaries who have experience ministering in countries during times of violence, upheaval, and oppression have written reflections connecting the dots between their experiences and what is happening right now in the United States: "helicopters create a deep uneasiness and a constant reminder of the militarization at the border, making us feel like prisoners in our own city, watched and threatened."
This week, Catholics around the world celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical letter on ecology, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. This year the letter takes on new meaning, as we live in the midst of a global pandemic, compounded by a global epidemic of forced migration and the threat of global economic collapse.
Copyright © 2020 Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Washington, D.C.