Climate Change features in the news every day doesn’t it? Huge Climate strikes by young people and adults supporting them are happening in many places throughout the world. There is a call for change regarding our lifestyle and in the way we conduct business which has been around for a long time and seems to be capturing at present the hearts and minds of many young people concerned for their future and the future of the planet. Many of our neighbours in the Pacificliving close to the sea are particularly concerned with rising sea levels.
The Gospel for this Sunday taken from Luke 16:19-31 is the story of ‘Dives and Lazarus’.
The rich man (Dives) dressed in purple and fine linen acted as though Lazarus who was outside his gate didn’t exist, the poor man (Lazurus) was covered with sores and suffering from hunger. Both die and their fortunes are reversed. The Gospel story has relevance here because when it comes to the environmental crisis our world is facing there is a connectionwith the poor and the fragility of the planet.
The Pope’s encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ (On care of our common home) in number 13 states, ‘Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded’. Lazurus could be seen as representing all those who are excluded and in our present day the poor most affected by what is happening to our environment.
Number 25 strengthens this even more: ‘Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited.’
Christ is teaching us in his parable that we cannot be indifferent to the plight of the poor.
Responding to the climate crisis facing our planet is a way of achieving that as well as preserving the wonder and beauty of our common home for generations to come.
Listen to ‘Be Mindful’ from an early recording ‘There is no distance’.
There’s a dance our bodies long to dance
There’s a song our voices long to sing
There’s a dream our planet’s dreaming of
Sing and dance her dream upon the earth