Reflections 1st January 2018

A Reflection for New Year’s Day

LK 2: 16-21 ( ) 

Make 2018 The Year of the Earth Volunteer

Recently, I have met several people who volunteer with faith-based organisations promoting Care for the Earth.  They promote better environmental practices in parishes, schools and elsewhere. A diverse group of people, they all have one common goal: to bring about a change in people’s habits particularly in relation to the environment through their commitment to a better way of living on earth. Their motivation was simple: ‘to make a better home for all’.

I’m sure we all know people who volunteer in, for example, ‘Tidy Towns’ associations, sports groups or the scouts. These volunteers certainly live by St. Francis’ motto: “Preach the gospel always; when necessary, use words.”and theiractions challenge each of us to think again about “How am I promoting a better community for all?”

Every year in January it seems that the media encourage us to enter a ‘new year’ contract with ourselves about such things as ‘losing weight’, ‘staying healthier’ or giving up cigarettes.  I’m sure 2018 will be no different.  However, as we think about our new year’s promises, could we take the example of the volunteers in our communities and not just think about what will make us personally better but think about what would make a better place for all?  Laudato Si’, where Pope Francis calls for a new and universal solidarity, clearly seeks a new commitment from each of us: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. All of us can co-operate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.”

So, what could an ‘Environmental New Year Promise’ look like?

In 2018, I will:

  • do my part make the earth a better place for all;
  • take care of and clean up around the area where I live;
  • never litter;
  • always recycle;
  • not waste;
  • re-use;
  • conserve energy and water.

By doing this I will “Make a Witness” in my community and the world.   I will pray for God’s grace to fulfil these promises daily. Amen.

Mr. Ronan Barry – Ronan works with the Identity, Faith & Mission Office attached to Spiritan schools in Ireland. His areas of involvement include engagement with school charities, ethos development, pastoral care, religious education and sacramental preparation.