EcoGospel: III Sunday of Easter. April 18, 2021

April 17, 2021

The new life of the Risen One challenges us in our daily consumption habits.
Lk 24:35-48

 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was projected to push an additional 88 million to 115 million into extreme poverty, according to the World Bank.

The climate crisis could push an additional 132 million into such living situations between now and 2030.

In this context, Pope Francis’ recent letter to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund carries extra significance.

His Holiness wrote, “As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, our world has been forced to confront a series of serious and interrelated socio-economic, ecological and political crises… We are in debt to nature itself, as well as to the people and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and loss of biodiversity.”

The Pope confirms the problem we are experiencing; they are not two separate crises but a single socio-environmental crisis.

Christians cannot “look the other way” and ignore the wounds of our brothers and sisters and of the Earth. With this awareness, let us enter into this Sunday’s Gospel and discover the footprints of the Risen One.

In the reading of the Scripture, both this Sunday and the previous one, the Lord invites his disciples to recognize him: “He himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts stirring in your hearts? See by my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and his feet.” (Lk 24:36-40). 

Through Luke, we glimpse that the Lord appears as a man, but not as he was before death, which is why the disciples do not recognize him at first.

He presents himself – a man of flesh and blood – and at the same time he presents himself as the New Man, with a new life, now belonging totally to the sphere of the divine and eternal (cf. Benedict XVI).

The new life of the Risen One, which we have already lived since our baptism, gives us hope and is a sure pledge of our own future resurrection.

But, as we walk in this world, we are called to live in the spirit of the Risen Lord, recognizing Him truly present in the Eucharist and in our poorest and neediest brothers and sisters. 

Jesus himself identified with them in his earthly life (cf. Mt 25:40). In this sense, “See by my hands and my feet that it is I myself,” can be translated as “see me in the poor, it is I myself”.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the preferential option or love for the poor is a special form of the primacy of charity that affects our life as Christians andas imitators of Christ (cf. DC 385).

And in the present context, in the cry of the poor together with the cry of the Earth, there is a hidden call from God (cf. DC 382) that we cannot ignore, but rather must integrate as part of our Christian discipleship.

Integrating in our life the option for the poor and for the Earth has very basic consequences, such as assuming in our own life the virtue of poverty, with the correct use of material goods (cf. DC 388), and from here reviewing our form of consumption that goes beyond what we can afford or buy.

Because, whether we like it or not, our way of consuming contributes for good or for bad to the problem of poverty and environmental degradation. For the same reason, we could begin to pull the thread, and ask ourselves: have the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the personal hygiene and household cleaning products we use, the technological products we use, etc., been produced in very hard and unsafe working conditions?

has their production involved the devastation of jungles or forests and caused the displacement of their inhabitants? The new life of the Risen One challenges us in our daily consumption habits.

If we want to, on a daily basis, we can modify our habits and consume more responsibly. This is what we call embarking on a journey of ecological conversion, starting with the smallest details.

“We must not think that these efforts are not going to change the world. They benefit society, often unbeknown to us, for they call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread” (LS 212).

Through Luke, we glimpse that the Lord appears as a man, but not as he was before death, which is why the disciples do not recognize him at first.

He presents himself – a man of flesh and blood – and at the same time he presents himself as the New Man, with a new life, now belonging totally to the sphere of the divine and eternal (cf. Benedict XVI).

The new life of the Risen One, which we have already lived since our baptism, gives us hope and is a sure pledge of our own future resurrection.

But, as we walk in this world, we are called to live in the spirit of the Risen Lord, recognizing Him truly present in the Eucharist and in our poorest and neediest brothers and sisters. 

Jesus himself identified with them in his earthly life (cf. Mt 25:40). In this sense, “See by my hands and my feet that it is I myself,” can be translated as “see me in the poor, it is I myself”.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the preferential option or love for the poor is a special form of the primacy of charity that affects our life as Christians andas imitators of Christ (cf. DC 385).

And in the present context, in the cry of the poor together with the cry of the Earth, there is a hidden call from God (cf. DC 382) that we cannot ignore, but rather must integrate as part of our Christian discipleship.

Integrating in our life the option for the poor and for the Earth has very basic consequences, such as assuming in our own life the virtue of poverty, with the correct use of material goods (cf. DC 388), and from here reviewing our form of consumption that goes beyond what we can afford or buy.

Because, whether we like it or not, our way of consuming contributes for good or for bad to the problem of poverty and environmental degradation. For the same reason, we could begin to pull the thread, and ask ourselves: have the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the personal hygiene and household cleaning products we use, the technological products we use, etc., been produced in very hard and unsafe working conditions?

has their production involved the devastation of jungles or forests and caused the displacement of their inhabitants? The new life of the Risen One challenges us in our daily consumption habits.

If we want to, on a daily basis, we can modify our habits and consume more responsibly. This is what we call embarking on a journey of ecological conversion, starting with the smallest details.

“We must not think that these efforts are not going to change the world. They benefit society, often unbeknown to us, for they call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread” (LS 212).

Autora: Gladys De la Cruz Castañón HCJC
Catechist Sister of Jesus Crucified. 
She has a degree in Catechetics and is a candidate for a Doctorate in Catechetics at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. She is a member of the Diocesan Delegation of Catechesis in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She also serves as a olunteer for the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Autora: Gladys De la Cruz Castañón HCJC
Catechist Sister of Jesus Crucified. 
She has a degree in Catechetics and is a candidate for a Doctorate in Catechetics at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. She is a member of the Diocesan Delegation of Catechesis in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She also serves as a olunteer for the Global Catholic Climate Movement.