Reflection for May 24, 2021
Scripture: Proverbs 1:20-27,31-33
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice; down the crowded ways she calls out, at the city gates she utters her words;
"How long, you simple ones, will you love inanity, how long will you turn away at my reproof? Lo! I will pour out to you my Spirit, I will acquaint you with my words. Because I called and you refused, I extended my hand and no one took notice; because you disdained all my counsel, and my reproof you ignored - I, in my turn, will laugh at your doom; I will mock when terror overtakes you; when terror comes upon you like a storm, and your doom approaches like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish befall you.
Now they must eat the fruit of their own way, and with their own devices be glutted. For the self-will of the simple kills them, the smugness of fools destroys them. But, he who obeys me dwells in security, peace without fear of harm."
Laudato Si #14
I urgently appeal then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: " Everyone's talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God's creation. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.
On this Pentecost weekend we have the appeal of Pope Francis for new dialogue about what we are doing to our planet and a warning from the book of Proverbs to those who ignore God's reproof and correction. The image of the desert reminds me of Ezekiel 37 - the return to life of the dry bones. In the story, the bones come back together and are covered with sinew and flesh. God breathes his spirit into them and they are alive once more. For what purpose have we been renewed, resurrected, reformed, refreshed? This weekend we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit onto the earth and into our lives. We will need to use all of the gifts of the spirit, that each of us has received to renew the face of the earth. We are the church and we have been made alive again in Christ. The Spirit dwelling in each of us forms the heart of the church - it is up to us to bring all creation to new life in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, we await with joy the coming of your spirit. Guide us, that we may use the power of the spirit wisely and teach us to work together to refresh the earth our home and the home of your spirit. Give us the wisdom to see what is ours to do and the courage to do it. Amen
Action: Do one small thing to make the world a beautiful place for others.