Aim: To realise our global ecological crisis caused by human selfishness and irresponsibility.
The great flood (Gen 7:17-22): The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, […] and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth […]. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.
Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:24-25): There rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire […];and those cities and all the Plain were overthrown with all the inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground.
The consequences of man and woman’s sinfulness take multiple forms. One of them causes great concerns to today’s society; that is ecological crisis. In his encyclical letter, Laudato Sì, Pope Francis makes us “painfully aware” of the facts troubling our planet, hoping “to turn what is happening to the world into our personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it” (LS 19). Here are some “painful” facts:
Pollution and climate change (20-26).
The issue of water, especially the quality of water available to the poor (27-31).
Loss of biodiversity, because of plundering of the earth’s resources (32-42).
Decline in the quality of human life and the breakdown of society due to environmental deterioration (43-47).
Global inequality, making the poor ever poorer (48-52).
“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference” (52). Further on the Pope continues: “God has joined us so closely to the world around that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement” (89).
Personal Reflection and Sharing
What specific aspects of the present global ecological crisis call my attention and disturb me most? I give some examples. In what ways does environmental suffering affect my spiritual life as well?