Everything is Connected

Living through a global pandemic has taught us much, but the best lesson learnt is how interconnected the world is. What started in one country, travelled to almost every corner of the globe with devastating consequences. As we live through these history-shaping events, Pope Francis invites us to celebrate Laudato Si’ Week from 16 – 24 May 2020. During the week, people of faith are urged to unite in solidarity for a more just and sustainable future.

The theme for the week is ‘everything is connected’ and honours the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on ‘Care for our Common Home’.

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.”

In disruptive times such as we are currently experiencing, that which is already untenable is weakened to the point of breaking. We are witnessing minor collapses of nations, exposing the fragility and inequalities of the structures we have in place. The pandemic has elicited great uncertainty and fear and we are forced to recognise our interdependence. Greater care for each other and the environment is the only authentic way to move beyond these interlocked crises.

The origin of this crisis can possibly be blamed on our own unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyles, which places enormous strain on the environment. Consider the repair the environment underwent as a decrease in economic and industrial activity from government orders to stay home. For the first time, India’s capital New Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities, had clear blue skies and many saw the Himalaya mountains for the first time. This unexpected upside of the COVID-19 crisis proves that global air quality can rapidly and dramatically be improved. ‘

Santa Maria Eco Sisters doing their bit to create a sustainable College environment

However, is this only a temporary reprieve for the environment? Will we hastily resume our indefensible lifestyles and pick up where we left off having learnt nothing? Now is the time to choose a radical response and a sincere healing of the wounds that led us to this crisis. We are given the opportunity to probe the models that hurt life on this planet and propose something new. 

Despite these dark hours, there is a flicker of hope. We are seeing spontaneous gestures of love and friendship among neighbours as communities come together as never before. Laudato Si week encourages us to reflect and grow through the crisis of the current moment by praying and preparing together for an improved world.

On Sunday 24 May, at noon local time, everyone is invited to pray in their homes, thereby creating a global wave of prayer around the world. With people everywhere crying out for hope, our faith is urgently needed to light the way. Let us stand united as one in recognition of our interconnectedness, as we work together through the crisis of this moment to build a better tomorrow.

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