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SCOTTISH CARDINAL CALLS CATHOLICS ON SIMPLE LIVING

“We must learn to live simply. By living simply we will do all that our Easter faith demands of us. We will serve our neighbor in the name of love and justice; we will serve our planet in the name of all generations to come.”
Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland made this appeal to Catholics during his April 8 Easter homily.

Cardinal O’Brien said that Jesus taught us very clearly what it is to be a master. It is to be a servant. Far from understanding Genesis as permission to take what we like from the earth, we must consider ourselves to be at the service of the earth, every bit as much as we are at the service of our neighbor. Noting the urgency to “cooperate with God in the preservation and nurture of the earth,” Cardinal O’Brien said that Catholics are called to witness to the Resurrection by living fully and responsibly.
The Cardinal added with so much attention focused on global warming, climate change is not the only environmental crisis faced.

“We are mistaken if we consider climate change to be the only problem, imagining that if we fly less or burn less fuel or plant more trees somehow the environmental damage will be corrected. Catholics must take the whole picture into account when we consider the damage being done to our mother earth.”

Pointing on the Scotland’s global footprint released last week which examined the impact of the nation’s use of natural resources and reported that the rate of consumption there would require three earths to sustain it, the Cardinal commented that we take and use much more than we share and we cannot maintain this any longer. According to him species are becoming extinct at “an alarming rate” and rain forests, “fast disappearing,” are half of what they used to be when he was ordained as a bishop.

“I cannot help but wonder as I go round schools what will happen to those remaining forests during the lifetime of the children I meet there. So full of vitality and wonder as they consistently are, so trusting of us to make the right choices on their behalf. We fail those children in the way we destroy the land,” the Cardinal stated.

Cardinal O’Brien further stated that overfishing means we now pay a great environmental price. Stocks of many of the fish we have taken for granted and which have been plentiful are now critically low. The majestic whale is at risk as are many other species of ocean life.

“Learning to live simply will ask a great deal of us, and we will need help along the way,” the cardinal said. He said that he has called upon the St. Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese justice and peace group to examine what needs to be done to help the church community to do a better job of meeting its environmental responsibilities.
In conclusion the cardinal revisited the scene at the resurrection and said that the days gospel ends where we must begin that that is in the Easter garden encountering the risen Lord. We must weep like Mary, who mourned the loss of her beloved Lord, and we must weep like Jesus who saw what had become of his beloved Jerusalem. We weep because we see what has become of this creation that so delighted God in the beginning. Yet weeping must give way to action once more to honor creation and to serve the creator through the same creation.

The cardinal finally stressed that mission to Catholics is to live simply. He prayed “ This Easter, may we each hear our name, hear our call to be servants of the poor and servants of the earth, and may we all receive the grace to live simply.”

 
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REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
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