The Birds In The Sky And The Lilies Of The Field

Ecological concerns, chiefly climate change and the massive pollution and destruction of the environment, are among the most pressing issues facing the world today. The discussions have mainly been on the scientific, social, economic and financial perspectives. Now, with Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si the spiritual and theological dimensions have been put on the table as well.

The Gospel reading today reminds me how beautiful the world is and how abundant and fruitful it is, capable for providing for all out needs. At the same time and in the light of the words of the Pope, I am aware how much we have thrashed and degraded our planet  -the only one we have.

I love seeing birds and bees flying in the air going about their apparently mindless business. One scientific hypothesis have put forward that without these bees and birds, life on earth would be gone in about a hundred years. Remove man and the earth will fully rejuvenate itself within the same period of time. Today, birds and bees are falling from the skies by the millions because man’s pollution has made the skies inhospitable for them.

I enjoy seeing the lilies of the field. This year, I and Anabelle caught the first bloom of wild flowers in springs in the hills around Coyote Lake. It was a mystical and enriching experience. Today, the lilies are gone and fields are arid and dry because of the severe drought, now on its fourth year. In many places, once verdant fields are becoming deserts; while in other places, there are massive floods and landslides.

Today the questions,  ‘What are we to eat?’  and ‘What are we to drink?’ and ‘What are we to wear?’ are very real concerns. The earth has always been bountiful, providing for all our needs. Now, for the first time in human history, we may have taxed the earth beyond its ability to provide us with a sustainable environment. Pope Francis has called for a bold cultural revolution, a change of heart, a conversion, where less is more and greed will no longer move people to hoard more than what they need, where love and charity will motivate people to share and care for the bounties of the earth. Then, as one community, we will indeed taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
~ Psalm 34

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
Matthew 6:24-34

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