Today is Good Friday.
For almost 40 days thousands of people from 56 different countries have participated in this spiritual relay for climate action and justice through the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice. We have been journeying together in prayer as we have prepared our hearts for these holiest of days that are now upon us.
As we prepare to fast again as a Church on Good Friday, we are invited to meditate on the death of Jesus and the countless ways He continues to be crucified today. The bitter effects of climate change remind us of the modern crucifixion of our Earth and of communities around the globe who bear the brunt of this ecological event.
As part of our commitment for personal and social transformation for the Earth, on Good Friday Catholics around the globe are invited to come together to fast for climate justice.
We are invited to fast with Leila from Burundi, who fasts in solidarity with all the victims of the natural disasters from February 2014 in her country, which killed over 50 people. We can join our prayers with hers, “for the souls of all the victims, for their famil(ies), for the broken heart(s) and for the destroyed life…”
We can remember Claudio of Argentina who witnessed the “tremendous floods and wildfires that are ruining our extensive nation from the North to Patagonia.”
We can lift our prayer with Janine from the United States, who has seen the signs of climate change through the eyes of her three daughters. “[My daughters] …notice things like the longer, colder winters we are having in the Northeast, the droughts in the West and the devastating hurricanes the U.S. has endured. These things can be attributed to the changing climate, which is predominately man-made. I fast so that they can have a better, cleaner, more Eden-like mother earth in their future.”
As you prepare to enter this day of fasting and prayer, you may want to use some of the resources from GCCM’s Care4Creation Campaign in support of Pope Francis’ April intention to pray for creation. Say a rosary with ecological meditations. Recite this Litany to the Trinity, the Creator as you pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Offer up a Stations of the Cross for Creation by utilizing this Ecological Stations of the Cross using meditations from John Paul II.
You too might be asking, like Michelle of the United States, “[D]oes this fast really mean anything? Can it accomplish anything?” Perhaps we too can respond as she did, “I am fasting today without an answer — just on faith alone that our loving Creator will hear our prayers and bring healing to the Earth through our combined efforts as a community.”
While we pray with our sorrow, we know that these signs of death are not the final answer. In a few days we will celebrate the risen Lord and the hope that Christ brings through his redemptive love.
As we enter into the Passion of our Lord, may the promise of the Easter season awaken our hearts to the unknown possibilities of God’s resurrecting spirit rejuvenating our Earth.
Christina Leaño is the Coordinator for GCCM’s Lenten Fast for Climate Justice. She has been engaged in environmental movements for 11 years, particularly environmental justice issues in the Philippines. She currently coordinates retreats and faith formation in Barry University in Miami, Florida