Thursday, February 16, 2017

Homily - School Mass on Laudato Si - 2/16/2017

Genesis 9:1-13
Mark 8:27-33
Laudato Si
-     Written in June 2015
-     Pope Francis’ Papal Encyclical on care for our common home (Planet Earth)
-      Named from Saint Francis of Assisi's 13th-century "Canticle of the Sun" (also called Canticle of the Creatures), a poem and prayer in which God is praised for the creation of the different creatures and aspects of the Earth

                   Top 7 Things You Need To Know about Laudato Si

1.    For the first time, caring for the earth is seen from a religious/faith perspective and Laudato Si is NOW added to the body of Catholic Social Teaching

2.    From now on discussions about ecology can be grounded in Sacred Scripture and Church Tradition
                                          i.    Gospel of Creation (Chapter 2 - Read It!) – It leads readers on a reflection of scripture for care of the planet that starting with Genesis

3.    Climate change has a disproportionate effect on the poor (developing countries:  Latin American, Africa and much of Asia)
                                          i.    Go to areas near the Amazon Rain Forest of South America and see the vast devastation that has happened in the past 50 years (tearing down of the forest)

4.    Technology is NOT the key to human existence
                                          i.    The dangers of consumerism (needing every new gadget)
                                        ii.    Sometimes we embrace new technology without thinking about its effects on our planet and its people (iPad screens)
                                       iii.    Christian spirituality by contrast offers a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little

5.    The encyclical has a critique of selfishness and indifference
                                          i.    Asks: Why are the wealthy turning away from the poor? 
1.    Some feel they are more worthy of their wealth and status in the world
2.    Decision-makers are removed from the plight of the poor on the planet with no real physical connection to their brothers and sisters in poverty
                                        ii.    Selfishness leads to evaporation of the notion of the Common Good (one of the Catholic Church's most important teachings)

6.    Everything is connected
                                          i.    We are all linked to creation, we are part of nature, but our decisions about how we treat the earth have an effect on the future of the planet

7.    This encyclical is addressed to everyone on the planet
                                          i.    Not just 1.2 billion Catholics, but all 7 billion people on the planet
                                        ii.    Calling for an ecological conversion
                                        iii.    Listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor

What can we do to help save the planet?

1)      Turn off lights
2)      Reduce your use of water (5-10 minute showers vs. 15-20 minute showers)
3)      Help your family to recycle and compost (paper, plastics, food)
4)      Start a garden this spring -  grow vegetables and fruits
5)      Walk more, drive less
6)      Live more simply
7)      Don’t take more than our fair share

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