At the dawn of creation, the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the earth’s deep waters.
I was thinking about this image from the Book of Genesis on June 4, as I was praying and preparing to celebrate Pentecost.
Two days earlier, our government had announced that it was pulling out of the so-called Paris Agreement on climate change — an action that provoked deep concern everywhere about the future of the earth we live on.
Concern about global warming and climate change is real. The U.S. bishops have long supported the need for prudent action and dialogue about the impacts of climate change, especially as they affect the poorest and most vulnerable people.
But there remain sharp debates — scientific, technological, economic and political — about how severe the crisis is and how best to address the challenges created by carbon dioxide emissions.
For example, Pope Francis, in his encyclical “Laudato Si’” strongly criticizes the “cap and trade” policies used by states like California and also the federal government. The pope says buying and selling “carbon credits” is “a ploy” the wealthy use to pursue their economic self-interests and their habits of “excessive consumption.”
Last week, as the news was coming out about the Paris Agreement, we also received a report here in Los Angeles about the dramatic increase in the numbers of our brothers and sisters who are homeless.
Each night in the county of Los Angeles — nearly 58,000 people have no place to call home.
In many of our neighborhoods we now see makeshift “tent cities” being established on sidewalks and boulevards and other public spaces.
I worry that we are getting accustomed to these sights in our city. We cannot allow ourselves to accept a Los Angeles where sidewalks become permanent residences for our neighbors.
The earth is our common home and everyone on earth deserves a place that he or she can call “my home.”
God made this earth, not for its own sake, but to be a home for the human family. The good things of creation are meant to be shared, developed and used for the good of all of his children.
And God intends us to be cocreators with him, cooperating with him to carry out and complete the work of his creation.
Human life and human nature must be protected and cared for — our rights and dignity, the needs of our bodies, minds and spirit.
The natural environment must also be protected and cared for. We are not put here to consume what we need and throw away what we do not, with no regard for the health of our communities or the needs of future generations.
Full story at Angelus.