7 February 2016
The following is taken from the Trócaire 2016 Reflections for Sundays of Lent
As we enter the season of Lent we are being called once again into the ‘wilderness’. The temptations are not just a testing episode in the life and ministry of Jesus, but are an integral part of his mission. Jesus is being tempted top eat when he is not supposed to eat, to take the easy route of power over the world through exploitation, when that is not his way. Ultimately, God is in control here; this wilderness is Spirit-led. And so it is for us. When it comes down to us, each of the temptations is about the same thing – our ability to trust in God. This should not direct us towards complacency or apathy but to listen. We listen to his Word; we must now listen to what he is saying to us through the Book of Creation. We must trust in these signals and signs.
In the 2016 Trócaire Lenten campaign we can read about Teresina Karimi and her family in rural Kenya. Now middle-aged she has seen the two acres of green grass etc she grew up on turn into dried up land. Along with her husband and family they “watched as climate change dried up their two acres of farmland. Their soil became lifeless and their crops became parched and limp. Migration was the only possible way to put the last two of their five children through school. And so, a year ago, Julius made the difficult decision to move permanently to Kirinyaga, a three-hour journey away, to work on a large commercial farm.”
This is one of millions of unheard-of stories – families forced apart because of dry land. This past year we have seen large movements of refugees around the world, and we know that the next generation of refugees will be climate refugees, forced from their homes and their lands because of climate injustice.
It does not have to be this way!
Our temptations are many: to have more, to use more, to take more. We can also be tempted to say that it is up to large corporations and governments to make the necessary changes for climate justice, but we all play a part. As we enter the ‘wilderness’ of Lent, let us spend time with the temptations in the Gospel today and hear the call to ‘trust’. Trust what the Lord is trying to tell us through the Book of Creation. It is in the wasteland that we find the signs of God’s renewal. How will you commit to climate justice this Lent?
Pope Francis is Laudato Si’, 1, 14 [On the care of our common home] writes:
“I wish to address every person living on this planet…
I urgently appeal 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.”