The Perspective of Justice

At Work in the World

Our land is indeed desolate: poisons float around in the air, toxins flow in our streams and lakes, and chemicals pollute the soil. The land is forsaken because of “the tensions and the tragedies of sin,” and forsaken, too, are many of the people who live on the land. Or to put it in terms of today’s Gospel, the wine has run out and the party seems to be over.

It does not have to be that way, however. The people can “be called ‘My Delight,’ and your land ‘Espoused’.” There is still choice wine left to be experienced: the party does not have to end. We can “sing to the Lord a new song.”

Two things will have to happen for things to change. The first is the action of the Lord. Jesus’ hour has come. We must turn to him, as Mary did, and have confidence in his power to effect change. The other thing that must take place is the application of our gifts to the solution of the problems afflicting our land and the people living on it. “To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

We must all use our unique gifts and unite them to the action of Jesus at work in the world. This is “the way to peace in the world” that we pray for at the beginning of Mass. If we follow this way, “no more shall men call you ‘forsaken,’ or your land ‘desolate’.”

The option for the poor embedded in the Gospel and the Church's teaching makes us aware that the poor suffer most directly from environmental decline and have the least access to relief from their suffering. Indigenous peoples die with their forests and grasslands. ... Nature will truly enjoy its second spring only when humanity has compassion for its own weakest members.

U.S. Bishops, Renewing the Earth, 1991: III, F

Gerald Darring
 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson