Being part of something Greater

In James 3;16 He states, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every sinful practice.” I thought deeply about this quote and reflected on how I would interpret it in my own context. The best way I could rationalise this scripture verse is comparing the situation of James’s community to world sports and Jesus.

James was one of the chief leaders of a Christian Community in Jerusalem. He believed that people of authentic faith are visible through their good deeds. From what I have read about the early Christian Church., “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.”2:42-43, 45-47. Thus, the epitome of dedicating their lives to worshipping God and serving others.

In comparison, all sports seem to try to fit in players who at times play as individuals rather than be team oriented. Is it because they are driven by the money they can earn, the celebrity adulation or the desire to seek the own personal goals? I would argue that you can have all these attributes as long as put above those aspirations an unquenchable thirst for team success. Surely, reaching the pinnacle with your team members and creating a personal and club legacy is long term and assures the player of the individual accolades they crave.

Consequently, I believe Jesus is the perfect example generating a legacy through his ministry. His teachings, miracles and healing of the sick were all about proclaiming the Kingdom of God. It was by building relationships with the apostles, his followers and the people in the areas he travelled that inspired them with his personal character strengths, words and actions. His legacy became greater through his death and resurrection which offered us the hope of eternal life. No-one earthly person alive or dead can ever give us that.

Cry for the Earth, Cry for the Poor. Part 3   

  Social Justice Statement Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

We are being challenged to understand that we do not stand outside of creation but are part of it, we are in communion with all creation, the “ultimate purpose of other creatures is moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God.

We have to realise that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

The Second Vatican Council understood that, as well as teaching, the Church must continue to listen to and learn from the world. Our Catholic Social Teaching develops through dialogue with the people, places, and events of history – that is to say, with the ongoing unfolding of the creation story.

We stand with Pope Francis in acknowledging “that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system” and that “humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or the causes which produce it”.

We also need to trust the science to respond successfully to the ecological crisis, according to Professor Shine:                                                                                                                                          “We must improve our understanding of fire behaviour and other adverse weather events, and we must continually develop new technologies, practices and behaviours to assist our nation to respond and adapt to, manage, and mitigate against such extreme events.”

When it comes to human knowledge of the lands and waters now known as Australia, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are our first teachers. “It is time that all Australians, particularly those following in the footsteps of Christ, recognise that God’s creation, needs to be loved, looked after and kept, not degraded or abused.

The call to care for creation goes to the heart of what it means to be human before God and in the world. It requires a profound conversion expressed in new ways of living, both personally and collectively.  

Pope Francis invites us to conversion saying: “Many things have to change.                                             It is not just a matter of awareness or changing our minds, but a shift at the level of the heart that will result in changed action. To achieve reconciliation with creation, “we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways to bring about lasting change through community conversion. We are being called to a new way of thinking, feeling, understanding, and living.”

Pope Francis advocates “a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximising their efficient use, reusing and recycling them.”