Saturday, February 9, 2019

Laudato Si Sunday Reflection: Here am I; send me!

This Sunday reflection is brought to you by
Isaiah 6:5-8.

Holy Spirit,
I am like Isaiah,
feeling unworthy
or maybe,
in tackling the tasks
that you ask me to accomplish.

But it is me,
not you,
who is making excuses
and putting up barriers.

It is our humanity,
not you,
who pretend
that we can't do
what you ask of us.

So you send us fiery coals
to cleanse us of our guilt
and a multitude of messengers
to inspire us toward action,
prophets who say
"Wake up before it's too late!"

When you call our names,
"Who shall I send,
and who will go for us?"
give us all
the courage to respond,
"Here am I; send me!"

Holy Spirit,
help us to heal our home
and all its creatures.


* * * * * * *
This week, my reading of Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home in concert with this Sunday's readings has me thinking about a few people I've run into lately who have a pretty fatalistic attitude when it comes to the future of our planet and its species. I've been told in so many words that there's no point in even trying to reduce our impact on our earthly home because we're doomed anyway.

But I prefer Pope Francis' way of thinking. His appeal to us is clear: "Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. (my emphasis) ... All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents." (paragraph 14)

The purpose of our lives, our true meaning, is found where our passions and abilities intersect with the needs of the world. Such meaning is rooted in selflessness rather than personal ego trips -- and shopping trips! And it is selfless action to which Pope Francis -- and God -- call usThe ecological and social challenges of our planet can seem overwhelming, but if we all stop making excuses and work together out of love for our common home and each other, there is hope. If as many of us as possible say, "Here am I; send me!" we can change the course of history, as other brave souls have in the past.

It's only too easy to tell ourselves that we are alone and that other people don't really care about our planet the way we do. But if we really look around and listen to what's going on, we can see that more and more people are jumping on various bandwagons aimed at saving our environment, serving the poor, and finding ways to live more justly, as Laudato Si calls us to do. Have you heard about Change for Climate Edmonton yet? Just one tiny example of people trying to make a difference, and a bandwagon onto which more and more people in my city are climbing. Are there similar efforts where you live?

Isaiah heard God's call and responded whole-heartedly. Can we put aside our hesitations as Isaiah did?

Question for the week: How do we face up to our part in our planet's ecological and social struggles rather than making excuses, or living in resignation or indifference? What is one small action we can take to help heal our home and all its creatures?

sidewalk chalk art