First Down (July 22, 2018)

Dear Friends,

At a recent dinner with some lifelong friends who lived in Los Angeles for about four years, described to me what it felt like to experience an earthquake. They talked about being in bed and feeling like the bed was lifted up and crashed down to the ground. Everything in the house was shaking and it lasted for about 30-40 seconds. What a helpless feeling one would experience during an earthquake. No control over one’s environment and being at the mercy of either making it through alive or without serious injury. I guess one might say we cannot control Mother Nature the way we would want to.

This sharing of their experience has caused me to reflect on the need to respect our environment, the earth, and the realization that humanity can’t always control the ways of the earth yet, there is a calling from God to take care of our environment.

Most of us, including myself, live our lives trying to control things that touch our lives. Most of the time, we can control our home environment, where we shop, where we want to work, or we can decide what we can buy or what we can do without. Yet, life really can throw us a curve when we experience things that can unsettle us or make us realize we have no control on what is happening or has happened. We are at the mercy of whatever happens. Not a very nice thought.

I guess my reflection has led me to think about the environment surrounding me. How dry our state is right now, heading north one sees dry, yellow grass. There is nothing we can do about the lack of rain, yet what can we do to take care of the resources of our land? What can we do to respect and honor God’s gift of the earth?

A few years ago, Pope Francis, wrote a beautiful document entitled Laudato Si, about the caring of our earth. Sadly there were some who simply saw this being about climate change and dismissed it as some political nonsense that Pope’s should not even talk about. Yet, there was great theology about the Christian’s call to honor God by taking care of the gift of what we have received from Him, the earth. Church documents are not always read or understood fully right away. Sometimes we need to sit with it for a while until we can see it in less of an emotional way. Ah, the Church, its people seem like they have all the time in the world, no wonder we move so slow!

Maybe as we experience this current drought that none of us can control, we might remind ourselves we cannot always control things in our lives yet, we can always take steps to honor, respect and take care of all gifts that our loving God has bestowed on us.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric