HOMILY on Laudato Si   

(Look to see if there is a phrase or concept in the gospel of the day to LINK the gospel to the topic of the encyclical.)

  I want to speak today about Pope Francis’ letter on the environment and climate change- LAUDATO Si (Praise be to you Lord)- The Care of Our Common Home”.This is a timely message because of the California Catholic Conference’s Pastoral Letter“God Calls All Of Us To Care For Our Common Home”. It waspublished in early June of 2019 for the fourth anniversary of the encyclical for the purpose of bringing the message of Laudato Si to all of our parishioners.

Climate change is in the newsthese past months and cannot escape our attention. We seethe hottest temperatures on record in our air and water, flooding in some areas, severe droughts and forest fires in others, melting of the Polar Ice Cap, rising sea levels and acidification of the oceans, affecting whole eco-systems. 

  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeand the Pontifical Academy of Science both give us a window of 10/12 yrs.to lower emissions of carbon dioxide or face more chaotic weather conditions. Around 97% of scientistsaffirmed for Pope Francis that climate change is real and that the principal cause is “human activity”, especially the burning of fossil fuels like gas, petroleum and coal.

  We have never seen a problem of the magnitudeof that posed by climate change, which so adversely affect all life on our planet and all of God’s creation. Patriarch Bartolomewis quoted as saying: “For human beings to contaminate our air, water and soil these area SINS; for an offense against a fellow human being or against nature is an offense against the Creator”.  I firmly believe that it is an urgentmoral responsibilityfor all of us to become informed and animated to act in solidarity for the good of all life, future generations and resources on our planet. For these reasons Pope Francis addressed his letter to “all and every living beingon the planet”. 

  Climate change is NOT a partisanpolitical issue, nor is it only a Catholic issue. All religious traditions have made moral declarations for a faith response to climate change. We are facing a human and global challenge.Desmond Tutu, an Anglican Bishop of South Arica stated: We are all part of the problem, and we are all part of the solution”. Gilbert Keith Chestertonwas asked: “What is the problem with the world?” He responded: “I, am”. 

  The encyclical states that there is a growingconsensusthat ‘we are 1 family, living in 1 house’, our “common home”, part of the sub-title of the encyclical letter. All life and all creation is inter-connected.  (The reaction of one grade school class to one house.)

 As Christians,we believe that the Creator God gave us this world as a gift,not to be trashed. In Genesis 2, 15 we are told to till and protect”the earth. We have done a great job of tilling but not such a good job of protecting. Human activity has developed overwhelming dominance of the earth, stressing jobs and profits but has largely forgotten about the environment and future generations. We seem to have ignored God’s planfor protection of the earth. God is disappointed with our stewardshipof his gifts. 

  Rapid global warmingof our atmosphere and waters is drastically affectingallplant and animal species. They are not able to adapt so much, so quickly. The encyclical states: “We are losing thousands of speciesof plants and animals every year.The problem or challenge is a real and present danger. We are morally obligedto respond and to change.

  The problem is essentially SPIRITUAL. Why? Because it has to do with our values, our attitudes, our culture and way of thinking. The pope challenges us to simplify our lifestyles. He suggests that we should be “indignant”toward the enormous inequalities that cause so much hunger, massive migrations and violence especially for the less fortunate among us. There are close to 65 million internal and external refugeesin or world today. Francis is referring to statistics like of anOXFAMstudy that shows that “eight individuals own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population”. 

  Francis goes on to say that there “will be no ecological reformwithout there being an anthropological reform”- unless we change our way of thinking we will not change our way of acting. He says: “Christiansmustrealize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essentialpart of our faith”.  

  So, what must we DO? How should we act? In short, seeing that fossil fuel emissions are causing global warming, we must reduce our use of fossil fuels. We can do an audit of our energy and water use, then develop more efficient ways to conserve energy and water. We can “green” our diets, waste nothing, recycle everything recyclable. We can practice the 5 R’sReduce, Reuse, Remodel, Recycle and Refuse.

  Positivethings are happening, such as global accords to reduce fossil fuel emissions, the development of solar and wind energy, and electric transportation. In short, efforts toward cleaner and more sustainable energy sources and use of resources. The bottom line in the encyclical is the need to simplify our lifestyles. One person said: “Live simply, that others might simply live”. 

  Francis has put the Catholic Churchat the centerof the world stage with Laudato Si BUT the message is NOT reaching and animatingPARISHIONERS or most people to ACT. Parishioners say our PRIESTS don’t talk about it or as one pastor told me “It is just another program” and BISHOPS aren’t mandating work on it. Pope Francis calls this the “globalization of indifference”. Pope Francis addresses his encyclical to “Every living being on the planet”. For this reason, I am here today to ASK each end every one of you to take the message of L. S. to heart, to become informed and to ACT. Pope Francis calls us to a conversion, to simplify our lifestylesand to lower our dependence on fossil fuels, as our NEW SPIRITUALITY.

Climate change is URGENTbecause it affects ALL life, human, plant and animal on the planet. It is eminently a PRO LIFE matter. Climate change is essentially SPIRITUALbecause it has to do with our STEWARDSHIP of the gifts of creation. I direct the Creation Care Ministry for the Diocese of San Diego. I offer on a voluntary basis to help parishes study and ACT on L. S.

  Most important of all we must NOTremain indifferent. When we do, we make ourselves accomplices of the injustices of human activity. Edmund Burkestated: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Dietrich Bonhoeffersaid:“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil”. 

We can ALLdo something. We can all do a better job of “tilling and protecting the gifts of creation” that God gave to us in Genesis 2, 15Each one of us can make a positive contribution. So, as one of our hymns puts it: “Go make a difference, youcan make a difference; Go make a difference, wecan make a difference in the world.”

 HOMILY on Laudato Si   

(Look to see if there is a phrase or concept in the gospel of the day to LINK the gospel to the topic of the encyclical.)

  I want to speak today about Pope Francis’ letter on the environment and climate change- LAUDATO Si (Praise be to you Lord)- The Care of Our Common Home”.This is a timely message because of the California Catholic Conference’s Pastoral Letter“God Calls All Of Us To Care For Our Common Home”. It waspublished in early June of 2019 for the fourth anniversary of the encyclical for the purpose of bringing the message of Laudato Si to all of our parishioners.

Climate change is in the newsthese past months and cannot escape our attention. We seethe hottest temperatures on record in our air and water, flooding in some areas, severe droughts and forest fires in others, melting of the Polar Ice Cap, rising sea levels and acidification of the oceans, affecting whole eco-systems. 

  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeand the Pontifical Academy of Science both give us a window of 10/12 yrs.to lower emissions of carbon dioxide or face more chaotic weather conditions. Around 97% of scientistsaffirmed for Pope Francis that climate change is real and that the principal cause is “human activity”, especially the burning of fossil fuels like gas, petroleum and coal.

  We have never seen a problem of the magnitudeof that posed by climate change, which so adversely affect all life on our planet and all of God’s creation. Patriarch Bartolomewis quoted as saying: “For human beings to contaminate our air, water and soil these area SINS; for an offense against a fellow human being or against nature is an offense against the Creator”.  I firmly believe that it is an urgentmoral responsibilityfor all of us to become informed and animated to act in solidarity for the good of all life, future generations and resources on our planet. For these reasons Pope Francis addressed his letter to “all and every living beingon the planet”. 

  Climate change is NOT a partisanpolitical issue, nor is it only a Catholic issue. All religious traditions have made moral declarations for a faith response to climate change. We are facing a human and global challenge.Desmond Tutu, an Anglican Bishop of South Arica stated: We are all part of the problem, and we are all part of the solution”. Gilbert Keith Chestertonwas asked: “What is the problem with the world?” He responded: “I, am”. 

  The encyclical states that there is a growingconsensusthat ‘we are 1 family, living in 1 house’, our “common home”, part of the sub-title of the encyclical letter. All life and all creation is inter-connected.  (The reaction of one grade school class to one house.)

 As Christians,we believe that the Creator God gave us this world as a gift,not to be trashed. In Genesis 2, 15 we are told to till and protect”the earth. We have done a great job of tilling but not such a good job of protecting. Human activity has developed overwhelming dominance of the earth, stressing jobs and profits but has largely forgotten about the environment and future generations. We seem to have ignored God’s planfor protection of the earth. God is disappointed with our stewardshipof his gifts. 

  Rapid global warmingof our atmosphere and waters is drastically affectingallplant and animal species. They are not able to adapt so much, so quickly. The encyclical states: “We are losing thousands of speciesof plants and animals every year.The problem or challenge is a real and present danger. We are morally obligedto respond and to change.

  The problem is essentially SPIRITUAL. Why? Because it has to do with our values, our attitudes, our culture and way of thinking. The pope challenges us to simplify our lifestyles. He suggests that we should be “indignant”toward the enormous inequalities that cause so much hunger, massive migrations and violence especially for the less fortunate among us. There are close to 65 million internal and external refugeesin or world today. Francis is referring to statistics like of anOXFAMstudy that shows that “eight individuals own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population”. 

  Francis goes on to say that there “will be no ecological reformwithout there being an anthropological reform”- unless we change our way of thinking we will not change our way of acting. He says: “Christiansmustrealize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essentialpart of our faith”.  

  So, what must we DO? How should we act? In short, seeing that fossil fuel emissions are causing global warming, we must reduce our use of fossil fuels. We can do an audit of our energy and water use, then develop more efficient ways to conserve energy and water. We can “green” our diets, waste nothing, recycle everything recyclable. We can practice the 5 R’sReduce, Reuse, Remodel, Recycle and Refuse.

  Positivethings are happening, such as global accords to reduce fossil fuel emissions, the development of solar and wind energy, and electric transportation. In short, efforts toward cleaner and more sustainable energy sources and use of resources. The bottom line in the encyclical is the need to simplify our lifestyles. One person said: “Live simply, that others might simply live”. 

  Francis has put the Catholic Churchat the centerof the world stage with Laudato Si BUT the message is NOT reaching and animatingPARISHIONERS or most people to ACT. Parishioners say our PRIESTS don’t talk about it or as one pastor told me “It is just another program” and BISHOPS aren’t mandating work on it. Pope Francis calls this the “globalization of indifference”. Pope Francis addresses his encyclical to “Every living being on the planet”. For this reason, I am here today to ASK each end every one of you to take the message of L. S. to heart, to become informed and to ACT. Pope Francis calls us to a conversion, to simplify our lifestylesand to lower our dependence on fossil fuels, as our NEW SPIRITUALITY.

Climate change is URGENTbecause it affects ALL life, human, plant and animal on the planet. It is eminently a PRO LIFE matter. Climate change is essentially SPIRITUALbecause it has to do with our STEWARDSHIP of the gifts of creation. I direct the Creation Care Ministry for the Diocese of San Diego. I offer on a voluntary basis to help parishes study and ACT on L. S.

  Most important of all we must NOTremain indifferent. When we do, we make ourselves accomplices of the injustices of human activity. Edmund Burkestated: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Dietrich Bonhoeffersaid:“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil”. 

We can ALLdo something. We can all do a better job of “tilling and protecting the gifts of creation” that God gave to us in Genesis 2, 15Each one of us can make a positive contribution. So, as one of our hymns puts it: “Go make a difference, youcan make a difference; Go make a difference, wecan make a difference in the world.”