Cross in fog at Tecaboca, a Marianist retreat center and camp in the Texas hill country.
April 3 - Fifth Sunday in Lent
“Do we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, so as to be an active part of our communities, or do we close in on ourselves, saying, ‘I have so many things to do, that’s not my job’?” - Pope Francis, General Audience June 26, 2013
Our Lenten journey through the Laudato Si Action Platform (www.laudatosiactionplatform.org) continues as we strive to contemplate our role in caring for all of God’s creation. From now through Easter, a different Platform goal will be highlighted each week. Let’s continue our journey this week through the desert.
Goal: Community Resilience & Empowerment
Community resilience and empowerment envisage a synodal journey of community engagement and participatory action at various levels. Actions could include promoting advocacy and developing people’s campaigns, encouraging rootedness and a sense of belonging in local communities and neighbourhood ecosystems.
In today’s Gospel, we encounter the woman caught in the act of adultery. Her community is attempting to punish her, yet Jesus reminds them all of their own sinfulness. The crowd is not so different from the woman. Jesus teaches them that they are all one community – a community of sinners. Each of them must recognize their own imperfections and their need to seek God and the common good. The LSAP community resilience and empowerment goal invites all of us to remember that, just like the crowd in the parable, we too are an imperfect community with a common interest in protecting ourselves and all of creation from the environmental crisis. Rather than throwing stones at one another, we all need to come together and advocate for the change that we are called to be in the world. Whether we are organizing community gatherings, writing letters to lawmakers, calling out sources of environmental racism, or beautifying our common community spaces, coming together as a community pursuing a common goal of eliminating injustice in our world is our obligation. Are you willing to see yourself as part of an interconnected community? Will you put down the stones you have ready to throw and instead advocate for the change God is calling us to make? Will you make your voice heard, and ensure that others can do the same? Will you bring others together to build this community the world needs?
Invite someone else – a family member, friend, neighbor – to think about their lifestyle and join you in living more sustainably. Then invite another, and another.. Take time to learn about the issues impacting your region. Speak out against injustice in your own neighborhood and join your voice with others who are working for environmental and social justice. Learn more about the connections between environmental justice and climate justice. https://naacp.org/know-issues/environmental-climate-justice.
You grace each of us with equal measure in your love.
Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply, so that we can create peaceful and just communities.
Inspire us to use our creative energies to build the structures we need to overcome the obstacles of intolerance and indifference.
May Jesus provide us the example needed and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey.
Read this short summary of Pope Francis’ social encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, which invites us into a deeper solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters - as one global family.