A Jubilee time for the Earth
Are we living the birth pangs of a new way of living? It was not just a celebration of Laudato Si for a week. Pope Francis is now asking for a special Anniversary Year, May 24 2020 – May 24th 2021, and beyond that a 7 year journey towards `total sustainability’. To help us along there will be a Laudato Si Action Platform facilitated by the Sector on Ecology and Creation of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. We will hear more of this.
`What sort of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’ we are asked. Covid 19 has shown up our vulnerability, we have been reminded of the important truth that we are part of an ecological system not the master of it; it has also offered us an unique opportunity and time to reflect. This question is for all of us, and we need to come together to address it at all levels, local, regional. national and international. For the Catholic Church the Pope is trying to encourage us in our communities to put our all into working for` a jubilee time for the Earth, for humanity and for all God’s creation’ by growing a grass roots movement from the bottom up, a movement working towards a critical mass involving parishes, dioceses, schools, universities, religious orders etc and cooperating with so many other organisations striving for a better simpler and more sustainable world where no one is excluded. We have also been reminded how helpful it is if we can work together globally in solidarity and every little helps, we can all have a part to play. New ways of social life and new economic models need to be explored, military spending needs to be funnelled into fresh and biodiverse agricultural initiatives to feed the many millions of hungry, and provide health systems for all. ; a starting point would be to stop asking for repayments on the vast debts of poor countries, to cancel them as befits a jubilee year. Life harming sanctions could be removed.
The backbone of the seven year journey is here: –
- A conversion to ecological sustainability by defending all forms of life
- Divesting from fossil fuels and other activities harmful to the planet
- Adopting simpler lifestyles
- becoming carbon neutral
- promoting ecologically centred liturgical celebrations
- promoting ecologically centred educational curricula
- communities to devise their own initiatives as part of a great movement from the bottom up.
In the face of the huge threat already beginning to engulf our planet and its life, with young people more aware than many of us, we, with Pope Francis, can offer specially an indestructible hope, a joy in creation and the Creator, and a way, a truth and life in Jesus. `Laudato Si! `We stand on holy ground.’
Jessica Gatty r.a. June 2020