Reading John’s Gospel with an eye on Ecology
A worldwide project is underway to provide commentaries on the Bible from an ecological viewpoint. Irish author Margaret Daly-Denton has already done such a commentary on St John’s Gospel, Supposing Him to be the Gardener. The phrase is taken from John chapter 20: Mary is searching outside the tomb for the body of Jesus, spots a figure in the distance, and supposes him to be the gardener. He turns out to be Jesus already risen from the dead. For the author, this gives the insight that Jesus can be seen as the great gardener of our fragile planet, and that he looks to us to collaborate in his saving work.
This series of short snapshots will illustrate how John can be read with an ecological eye. These snapshots will enrich the gospel texts whenever we read them. The evangelist is constantly giving us hints and glimpses into the new world that Jesus unfolds for us. With the help of Margaret Daly-Denton’s superb scholarship we will zoom in on the words and actions in John and find concealed in them unexpected layers of meaning. Think of a Russian doll which you open only to find a smaller doll inside: open that and you find yet another! So let your contemplative imagination roam freely over the world outside your window: you will find God there and be endlessly enriched. You will fall in love more and more with creation and be inspired to protect it, even though this will demand changes in your style of living.
Exercise: Ponder over this reflection: ‘What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with love and gratitude’. Ask yourself what you are deeply in love with: a project, a place, a friend, a job, your faith, your God… Will you include Nature in the list of things that you are passionate about?
Greta Thunberg’s speech to UN Sec Gen. Katovice. Dec 3, 2018
My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old. I am from Sweden.
I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now.
Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do.
But I’ve learned you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.
You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.
You are not mature enough to tell it like is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.
For 25 years countless of people have stood in front of the United Nations climate conferences, asking our nation’s leaders to stop the emissions. But, clearly, this has not worked since the emissions just continue to rise.
April issue of Sacred Heart Messenger magazine, published by Messenger Publications.
Care for our Common Home is an important theme in the papacy of Pope Francis. In his encyclical, Laudato Si’ invites us to return to the meaningful custom of giving thanks before and after meals, as it ‘strengthens our feelings of gratitude for the gifts of creation’.
In her article You Are What You Eat Catherine Devitt alerts us to the significant wastage of food that is produced globally, inviting us to consider changing our eating habits, in line with former president Mary Robinson’s suggestion.