The Chief executive of BP Bernard Looney, recently said, “We need to focus on rebuilding communities, wellbeing, livelihoods, jobs and businesses, after the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has been arrested. To do that, we must recover from COVID-19 in a way that also tackles the climate crisis and protects nature.”
Pope Francis wrote yesterday that we must renew sacred respect for the Earth. He appeals for Ecological conversion through concrete actions, each in our small way. He says the earth is not just our home, it is also God’s home. We can both look after, care and love our common home as well as the weaker or less powerful members of our human family.
In the book of Genesis we are reminded that we are stewards of creation. We do not own the world. God owns the world. We are called to put on the heart and mind of Christ. Through the Risen Christ all of creation is as if in a great act of giving birth.
Many times in the Gospel Jesus tells parables that speak about care and love of the poor and the disadvantaged. Am I committed to sharing from what I have? Do I remember the word from the letter of St John that reminds us that we cannot say we love God without also loving our neighbour? Looking after our country, our own people is good, but not enough. Jesus says the pagans do as much, do they not? We need to be inclusive in our love, even of our enemies! It is often the poor and disadvantaged that suffer most in times of crisis including climate crisis.
How do I treat the rest of creation, animals, plants the environment etc. I remember as a young boy in the 50’s learning that it is sinful to mistreat animals. God loves all of creation and we are called to share in that love. Our earth is tired. Any good farmer looks after his property and knows that misuse of his land can be disastrous. As we learn more, we have a greater responsibility to do the right thing by our environment. Do I buy responsibly caught fish? How about learning whether the food I purchase is grown responsibly e.g. the manner farm animals are kept.
We need respectful, intelligent, balanced and yet prophetic dialogue and conversations about our care of each other and our environment. The common good is central to Catholic Social Teaching and has been for generations. This means the good of the individual and the good of all others, it is not one or the other both are important. We as Christians, as light of the world and salt of the earth, need to be part of this.
I remember a saying I came across. “If you look at a tree and see JUST a tree you have not seen the tree! If you see a “MIRACLE” then you have seen the tree!
Thank you God that we are wonderfully made! Thank you God for the amazing miracle of your creation!
God Bless you today.
+ Charles Gauci
Bishop of Darwin