March 16. Stephen added, “It is difficult to legislate for the common good and for things like ecological conversion. It has been very interesting to see how much money and energy has gone into fighting the Covid virus. At the same time climate change more or less disappeared off the public agenda even though it is even more urgent and serious in the long term.  Because of the dramatic impacts as well as the lobbying of climate activists it is fortunately coming up more and more frequently but much more needs to be done from a legal perspective too.

Even though activists and the popes too have spoken about it for many years as part of Catholic Social Teaching, it has not become a mainstream issue in the Church. How many people have measured their carbon footprint I wonder. Often, too, it is a humanitarian or human good that cannot be enforced but should be promoted.    Pope Francis’s Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti, go beyond Catholic believers but call on all people “of goodwill.”  We humans are the only aspect of creation with the power to make decisions. We cannot expect the animal kingdom or the plant kingdom to do that. 

Scripture: You shall call to them but they will not answer you. And you shall say to them, “This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord, their God, and did not accept discipline, truth has perished, it is cut off from their lips. Jer. 7:23-28  

Pope Francis:   A journey of peace is possible between religions. Its point of departure must be God’s way of seeing things. God’s love is the same for everyone, regardless of religion. It follows that we believers need to find occasions to speak with one another and to act together for the common good and the poor. This has nothing to do with watering down or concealing our deepest convictions.

 FT 281-2. 

Fr Francis. There is an episode in the life of St Francis that shows his openness of heart, which knew no bounds of differences of origin, nationality, colour or religion. His visit to the Sultan in Damietta in Egypt on a mission of friendship or fraternity entailed hardships, given his poverty, the distance, language, and culture. That journey undertaken at the time of the Crusades, demonstrated the breadth and grandeur of his love which sought to embrace everyone.  FT3. 

Reflect, share, act, pray. What aspect of the common good is important to us as a family?  Is it the poor, the earth, economics, human rights?   Where does love feature in working for the common good?