It was wonderful to see so many children and young families at the 4pm Mass on Christmas Eve. The time certainly suits young families, so this 4pm Childrens mass will be repeated next Christmas.
The following comments are from a priest who works promoting good relations between the Catholic and Jewish communities:
“Another area of common understanding between Jewish and Catholic communities is concern for the created order and the care for the earth, our common home. I have heard many Jewish groups express much gratitude for Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato si’ (On the Care for our Common Home)
“Pope Francis uses many Biblical texts to explain the essential values on which the encyclical is based. His recurring themes of the dignity of human beings is based on Genesis 1; the origin and connection of humanity to the earth itself is found in Genesis 2; the interconnection and inherent value of all life comes from Psalm 148; the connection of the degradation of the environment to the degradation of the poor are based on the stories of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 as well as other quoted texts. He also uses many of the same laws in the Torah that Jewish environmentalists have been quoting for decades: the laws of the Sabbatical Year and Jubilee from Leviticus 25, the protection of species from Deuteronomy 22:6-7, and the Sabbath imperative to rest, from Exodus 23:12.
“In Laudato si, Pope Francis is focused on climate change’s impact on the poor. His encyclical looks at the moral and spiritual crisis that climate change illustrates: moral, because of its disproportionate impact on the poor, and spiritual because it highlights our disconnection to creation. He makes a deep and thoughtful critique of the modern economy, consumerism, the current concept of progress, and the way in which technology can have a negative impact on the environment if not properly regulated.
“Pope Francis calls for an open and honest discussion among all people to find effective solutions to this growing crisis. Many Jewish communities are seizing this critical moment in the history of our planet to speak out clearly and loudly about our common future on earth that is in jeopardy. Together as Christians and Jews, we must ask: ‘What kind of world do we wish to leave our children?'”
Members of our parish have been exploring this question in our discussions of Laudato si. We meet again a week on Wednesday, 18th Jan, at 7.30pm in the Presbytery. Why not join us ?