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We pray that we may value and listen to our elders, so that we can learn from their past mistakes and from what they have done right.
“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.” (LS 21)
Let’s go, builders of the future!
Lord God, we sing with joy to share our prayer of hope and faith. Send us your Spirit, who will give us even more confidence, energy and joy. Help us, for we need you, not to be discouraged when times are difficult and we are tempted to turn in on ourselves. We want to see what is beautiful in the world and in each of us. We want to work in order to care for our “common home” and make it more beautiful. We want to recognise and encourage the values experienced by so many people, young, adult and old alike. We also want to share our own human values and those of our Faith, not by imposing them, but by living them first!
And with Bishop Hélder Câmara, let us show the strength that can be found in courage, trust and hope: I want to believe that the whole world is my home and that all will reap what all have sown… I want to believe in humble action and bare hands… I dare to believe in God’s own dream: A new heaven and a new earth where justice will dwell!
By Mouvement Chrétien des Retraités, France. A prayer inspired by the song “Let’s go, builders of the future” (“Allons bâtisseurs d’avenir” in French), composed for the 60th anniversary of the MCR
Parables to guide us
Xavier de Bénazé, SJ (Laudato Si’ Delegate of the EOF Province).
For this 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the liturgy offers us two short parables from Jesus about the Kingdom of God: the man who discovered a treasure in a field and the man looking for fine pearls.
From these two parables, perhaps we can take away three points for our meditation and discussion during these days:
- Once again, Jesus becomes a storyteller for us, to enlighten our own discernment of what is essential today, at the heart of this world. In this way, the Kingdom is discerned in stories that connect us to God, to others, to Creation, and to ourselves.
- In today’s two stories, we are told about two men. First, the man who discovered a treasure in a field, as if by chance, as well as the trader who is actively looking for the pearls – that is his job as a pearl trader. One of them seems to be a lucky amateur, the other one is a professional. However, the Kingdom can clearly be found in different kinds of lives and vocations.
- Whether it is for the treasure in the field or the valuable pearl, when the two men recognise they are a gift from God, they sell everything they have to buy the treasure. They know how to discern between the essential and the superficial. And they know how to commit themselves to the Kingdom accordingly.
How, then, does the Word of God reach our Christian lives today through these three points? Where will we find an echo, a reflection, a living incarnation?
There are members of our communities who are particularly well placed to help us understand these teachings about the Kingdom. They are our elders! Indeed, they have a gift for telling stories based on their own life experience, about their achievements and failures, or when they were able to discern what is essential to God or became lost and moved away from Him. Treasures and pearls of great value that God has given them, which is something that they were able to realise and confirm only through the patience of time and the passing years.
So, yes, we use the words of this month’s intention: “We pray that we may value and listen to our elders, so that we can learn from their past mistakes and from what they have done right”, with the whole Church, to develop our ability to discern the Kingdom of God today and the commitments we need to make based on wise discernment. Amen!
Questions for reflection
- How has the word of an elder helped me make a decision in the past? What struck me about what they said? Talk to God about it as if you were talking to a friend.
- In our Christian community, which elders inspire me most? Why? Take the time to bless them, to thank God for their presence and their lives.
- Today, what discernment(s) are occupying my prayer as I look for and find the Kingdom of God in Creation? Which elder could I ask to tell me a story to help me with this discernment? Trust the Lord with these discernments.
Indigenous wisdom: an important aspect in caring for our common home
Robert Kitumaine is a Laudato Si Animator of Animators from DRC, South Kivu province. He grew up in Bukavu city, very close to Virunga national Park which is today under threat with oil extraction.
In Virunga, indigenous people believed in a forest spirit that protects them through life, death and rebirth as spirit of the forest and ensures peace and stability.
One day Robert’s uncle who is the younger brother to his dad got sick and they could not find a solution for him. “My grandfather told me that he had to take him for a long journey far inside Virunga forest looking for the Afrormosia tree, a big tree that was used to heal people with miracles”, said Robert
When they reached the tree his grandfather pronounced words addressing the tree saying: ”Our super tree save your brother here is suffering, heal him as you did it to our grandparents”. His grandfather confirms that on their way back his son started feeling better and he finally recovered.
In the old testament the Gospel says: ”In addition, God gives us the use of plants and herbs for curative care, both physical (2 Kings 20:7; Psalm 51:7) and emotional (Psalm 45:8; Genesis 43:11)”. Robert was touched by his grandfather’s story and, through his ecological conversion, he committed himself to restoring indigenous trees and plants in extinction, through his organization Soprode.
Hearing Creation’s Cry
Hearing Creation’s Song
Road to 2025: the Movement’s synodal journey
Do you remember that recently the decision was announced to convene our first in-person General Assembly and Global Encounter in Assisi in 2025? The Laudato Si’ Movement is on the road to 2025, when we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Canticle of the Creatures and the tenth anniversary of both the Laudato Si’ Encyclical and our Movement.
This important project involves a preparatory process towards the celebratory jubilee. Today we begin the first stage of the journey: “Preparing the canoes: Confirming memberships”, a moment to reconfirm who the active members of our movement are. This is a crucial step in determining the rest of the journey.
All of us are invited to participate, from Animators to Circles, Chapters, and Member Organizations. This first step in our journey will not only allow us to update our personal information to stay in touch with our regional leaders but also identify those who can contribute formally to our General Assembly in two years. For this purpose, a brief survey will be sent on June 26th to Animators and other members (if you haven’t received it, please contact [email protected]).
LSM Core Values: Taking an integral approach
Learn more about each of the 10 core values that ground LSM’s mission and identity.