Celebrating Earth Day

Fr. Sam Nasada, OFM

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. Chance is, you read about it in reflections online and hear it in homilies during mass. Therefore, instead of elaborating it more through this bulletin reflection, I’d like to talk about something that you may have missed this week: Earth Day, on April 22.

I am fully aware that Earth Day is not something we celebrate in our Catholic liturgical calendar. However, this day could be a good opportunity for us to reflect on our Christian calling to care for the earth. Sadly, there are still some Catholics who feel that caring for the earth is not that important, or worse, as a Marxist-socialist agenda that has no place in the Catholic church.

Nothing can be further from the truth. A socialist might save the environment because they need to ensure full control of all natural resources in order to ransom them equally to all people. The focus here would be equal distribution.

Our motivation as Christians, however, comes directly from God. In the Book of Genesis, God sees all creation as good and entrusted humanity to care for it with wisdom and love. Pope Saint John Paul II called the Christian’s responsibility and duty towards nature and the Creator “an essential part of their faith.” He went on saying, “Respect for life and for the dignity of the human person extends also to the rest of creation.” (Message for the Celebration of World Day of Peace, January 1, 1990)

This is why today Pope Francis keeps reminding us of our responsibility to care for our common home (see his encyclical Laudato Si’). Our diocese of San Diego has come out with a Creation Care Action Plan. Our Franciscan Friars have also formed a commission to guide participation in the action plan (laudatosispirit.org). And our parish, staying true to our mission statement to care for creation, has also formed a Creation Care Team. If you feel called to join, please contact Caroline (carcher@sandiego.edu) or Tony (jmartinez@sandiego.edu).

Peace and all good,
Fr. Sam

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