Send forth your spirit, O Lord,
and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your riches.
You take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm for Pentecost: Mass during the Day
Too often our faith is about me and God. But it needs also, always to be about us and God.
Pope Benedict observed that we, of course, receive the extraordinary gift of communion with Christ. But this union is not exclusive.
Union with Christ is also union with all those to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union with all those who have become, or who will become, his own.
The union to which we are invited is for all people. If we are not up for that, then we are not up for union with God.
The renewal of humanity, the restoration of our original unity – before Babel and all – is to be accompanied also with a renewal of the covenant with the natural, material world also. The point is made fully in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ which speaks of a common home for an undivided people.
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
Laudato si’ 1, 2
- What steps have you taken to help you grow closer to other people? What next? Who do you need to know better?
- What steps have you taken to live more carefully with respect to the environment? What comes next?
Come Holy Spirit, help us to be one with God, neighbour and our world.
St Francis. Louvre, Paris. Photograph (c) 2017, Allen Morris.