#LaudatoSiSunday: Gospel reflections in relation to #LaudatoSi

March 12, 2023

John 4:5-42 Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

Today is the third Sunday of Lent. The Gospel talks about water which God shall give, becoming a spring of eternal life.

Jesus knows our needs. He left the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Our Creator-Maker primarily gave us what we need, not what we want.

Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si’, On Care for our Common Home, number 93, says: “Whether believers or not, we have agreed today that the earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone. For believers, this becomes a question of fidelity to the Creator, since God created the world for everyone.”

And in number 95, he explicitly says: “The natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone. If we make something our own, it is only to administer it for the good of all.”

One of God’s gifts to humanity is water. Laudato Si’ number 28 clearly explains that “Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Sources of fresh water are necessary for health care, agriculture, and industry. Water supplies used to be relatively constant, but now in many places, demand exceeds the sustainable supply, with dramatic consequences in the short and long term.”

Pope Francis says that “One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor.” And “Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market. “Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.” (Laudato Si’ 30)

Indeed, “The earth’s resources are also being plundered because of short-sighted approaches to the economy, commerce, and production.” (Laudato Si’ 32)

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Pastoral Letter on Ecology: an Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion, Hope In The Face Of Climate Emergency, says that the Philippine Church must “Protect our watersheds while at the same time using fresh water wisely, promoting and establishing massive rainwater collection, and putting a stop to infrastructures that can be detrimental to the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity.”

Hence, large infrastructure projects such as the planned Kaliwa dam which will affect ecosystems and indigenous peoples communities must be opposed by everyone. So do coal-fired power plants which affect watersheds and mountains due to the mining of coal and also use amounts of water for energy generation. The recent oil spill in Mindoro endangers our seas and those who depend on its bounties.

Let’s pray: Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail. You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good. Praise be to you! (Laudato Si’ 246)

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