You may have heard the news coverage of the young activist Greta Thunberg berating world leaders’: “blah blah blah”. While she, and hundreds of thousands of children and youth, watch extreme climate disasters accelerating worldwide, they see politicians continuing to boast about their grand pledges to address climate change. Where is the action?
Meanwhile also taking place last week, (but without the same media coverage), Pope Francis gathered together religious leaders and scientists from around the world. “In his address to the participants at the meeting, Pope Francis expressed gratitude for their presence . . . and proposed three concepts to guide their reflection: openness to interdependence and sharing, the dynamism of love, and the call to respect.” (B. Mayaki, SJ. Vatican News)
They, science experts and faith leaders, have taken a common stand to present to the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in November in Glasgow, Scotland. Church and science join to press for real, effective, compassionate change for humanity. Their appeal reflects the Laudato Si goals we too are embracing in our parish as we take steps towards “ecological conversion”. While our joint actions are still hampered by COVID gathering restrictions, we can take individual household actions together.
Do not think that our actions are ineffective. What you and I do, what we do as a collective, makes a difference. A marathon begins with a single stride.
This Thanksgiving Weekend offers a perfect opportunity to spotlight our consumption of food and its repercussions. In Canada, Thanksgiving is a happy acknowledgment of gratitude: gratitude for the beauty of the earth as it bursts with ripeness. We also acknowledge our thankfulness each time we pray before meals. How fortunate we are that we have daily meals that we choose according to our wishes! There are many ways we can share our good fortune with others. One way to make an impact collectively is if our parish, each member, commits to have one day a week without any meat. “Meatless Mondays”/Friday (or any day). It’s as simple as that, but it’s a commitment we must undertake seriously.
“By going meatless just one day per week, you are decreasing your meat consumption by nearly 15 percent, decreasing the environmental consequences associated with meat production, too. Another way to look at it is like this: If the entire U.S. [only] did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles — or taking 7.6 million cars off the road,” says the Earth Day Network.
Reducing our meat consumption is one of the biggest ways our actions can improve the health of the planet. This initiative began in the first world war and has been used in countries decades ago to improve children’s health. Now it is a UN sponsored global movement active in over 40 countries. This is an action encouraged by our Church. Let us, families of Holy Transfiguration Parish KW, take this small but wonderful step for our planet. For more information about the history and importance of Meatless Mondays please read this article: (English language) https://www.ncronline.org/news/earthbeat/can-one-meatless-day-out-week-make-difference
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any meatless recipes you love, and I will share them on our parish email!
This Thanksgiving Day I also want to thank each one of you for your presence in our community. I pray that we always may find a renewed peace and comfort in each other.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
so that those who follow after us
may enjoy the fruits of your creation.
God of peace and justice,
You give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.
Amen. (Linda Jones)