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‘What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?’ These are the words of St James in the second reading today, and in the gospel Jesus speaks quite sternly to Peter: ‘The way you think is not God’s way but man’s…’ This is a reminder for us all to check what path we are walking. Jesus’ path was radically different to what people of his time expected of a Messiah. It was a path that would lead to much sacrifice. Being a Christian today means being counter-cultural and making sacrifices for a greater good.
As we walk together through this Season of Creation can we as parish lead by example and show our commitment to caring for the earth? The future of our environment depends on the action we take now as a society. We can be proud that in July Ireland became the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels. This is a good news story. As parishes can we join with the eco-groups in our community to rejoice in the good gift of creation, to share eco-stories and hear other good news of what is already happening. Perhaps you can explore becoming an ‘eco-parish’? (http://ecocongregationireland.com) This is an issue that the Church can link with the wider community and offer a space to dialogue and pray. The gospel today urges us to walk God’s ways not man’s.
‘I wish to address every person living on this planet … to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home …
The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life.’
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 3,23