14 Nov 2014

16th November 2014 - Cry of the Earth: A Call to Action for Climate Justice - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

On this weeks programme Noirin Lynch from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre joins John and the team on SS102fm to discuss Cry of the Earth - the new pastoral letter issued by the Irish Bishops and the resource Glas which has been published by Trocaire to support parishes and other interested groups who want to work on climate justice.
As well as this we have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some liturgical odds and ends and notices.
You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.
Cry of the Earth - A Call to Action for Climate Justice
Noirin Lynch from LDPC joins us on this weeks programme to talk about "The Cry of the Earth" published by the Irish Bishops Conference.

You can listen to Noirin's interview excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.
"In 2009 the Irish Bishops’ Conference published the pastoral reflection The Cry of the Earth with the aim of stimulating and resourcing dialogue and reflection on the critical questions posed by the challenge of climate change. The reflection was inspired by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, published earlier that year. Caritas in Veritate  emphasised that the ‘environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.’

On the role of the Church, Pope Benedict stated: ‘The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere’ (nn. 48 and 51). Accordingly, in The Cry of the Earth individuals, parish communities and all people of good will were invited to reflect on ‘that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying’ (n. 50).

Bishop Leahy at the launch in Maynooth
This pastoral reflection proved to be a valuable tool for those who are concerned about the impact of climate change and want to take action to address its negative consequences.

As more and more people in our society are becoming aware of the unjust impact of climate change on some of the most vulnerable communities in our world, The Cry of the Earth has now been updated 2014, with supporting resources for dialogue at parish level, with a new title - The Cry of the Earth: A Call to Action for Climate Justice. 

The first part of this pastoral reflection lays out the science behind climate change. It includes analysis from the 5th Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Data from the Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland is also used. The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced dramatically if we are to avoid the worst consequence of climate change.

The second part of this reflection sees our natural environment as ‘a wondrous work of the Creator containing a “grammar” which sets forth … Criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation’ (n. 48). It offers such reflections on sacred scripture, key ethical principles and themes from Catholic Social Doctrine. They inspire and guide our vocation as stewards of God’s creation. While scientific knowledge is constantly evolving, the principles that inform our approach, as Christians, to these developments remain steadfast, rooted in our faith.

Noirin tells us about the resource which has been made available for parishes and other groups which includes a short four step reflections, a quiz to assess how environmentally friendly our parishes and schools are.

Gospel - Matthew 25:14-30
""For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, `Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, `Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, `You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.'"
Si Kahn is a community organiser/activist in the USA. He writes songs inspired by, or to inspire, those he works with. One well known song has this chorus:
"Its not just what you're born with,
its what you choose to bear
Its not how big your share is,
its how much you can share.
Its not the fights you dream of,
its those you've really fought
Its not just what you're given,
its what you do with what you've got'.
Sometimes we get stuck, get lazy, get scared. We who have many talents and gifts, feel unable, unworthy, or unwell in the face of all that 'has to be done'. It may feel safer to dig a hole and hide, to wait it out until a safer, brighter, better day.
If you recognise these feelings, consider this.
God is here.
God is here, now.
God is not waiting in that brighter, safer day for you and your talents. God is with us here and now -
calling us out, inviting us to be the best person we can be.
Let us begin again to be with God in the present, not await some future day of connection. Let us recognise that when we share our talents - we are giving thanks to God for Gods generous grace. Let us use our gifts as a witness to Gods love. Today, not tomorrow. Let us be grateful. Let us be generous. Let us be the face of Christ for a world thirsty for joy.
A reflection*
How much wealth
has the master given
to my trust?
Where best
can it be put to work
at a profit
as faith must?
How many gifts
are now employed
for his gain?
Where best
to use each aptitude
though it may bring
cost and pain?
How much time
have I to spend
sharing love?
the master comes again
with expectation
on his face?
* Copyright B.D. Prewer, 2001. Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Liturgical Odds and Ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 1; 33rd week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
November 17th - St Elizabeth of Hungry
November 19th - Saint Raphael Kalinowski
November 22nd - St Cecilia - Patroness of musicians and music
November 23rd - Solemnity of Christ the Universal King

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