Life Giving Testimony
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will begin early next week. The task they are undertaking is to achieve a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. In June of this year, Pope Francis issued an encyclical called Laudato si'. The encyclical is the subtitled “On Care For Our Common Home.” Part of the intention of this papal document is to influence the conference. The document, which seems to be in part built on similar theology and logic as Humane Vitae, suggests that the writing is on the wall. The Pope, through the document, pushes for a broader understanding of pro-life that is pro-creation. In it he laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take "swift and unified global action.”
While the writing is on the wall globally, perhaps on a spiritual level the writing has always been on the wall as well. Today’s readings point to confrontation and endings. In Book of Daniel, the prophet explains that of King Belshazzar’s kingdom there will be an end. The end will come because of the his and his followers degradation of the temple. It is through the writing on the wall and Daniel that Belshazzar’s kingdom is confronted.
In today’s gospel, Jesus speaks to the confrontations that the disciples face. Discipleship has a cost and it might mean with one’s life. “You are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking.” The Lord promises that the words of our testimony will not be able to be overcome by our adversaries. This promise reminds us that we must have a radical trust in the Lord’s spirit to guide, protect and speak through us. Our witness has the power to confront and bring people to conversion.
Laudato si', like the gospels and most Church documents, confronts us and calls us to conversion. It attempts to transform the ways we think, talk, and act so to be better stewards of all of creation. Living as faithful stewards of creation is not always easy in our consumer culture. Still, this intentional stewardship can offer a powerful testimony that affirms the gift of all life.
“Loving God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. You made us to know, love and serve you. Give us wisdom so that all we say and do, gives glory and eternal praise unto You O Lord. Amen!”