The August readings for Cycle B provide us a first-rate opportunity to reflect on and implement the teaching of Pope Francis in Chapter 3 of Laudato Si’. His underlying contention is evident in the title of the chapter: “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis.” Many have disagreed with this teaching of the Pope, in large part because the recognition that we are responsible for our environmental problems places responsibilities on those who are culpable. Like the Israelites of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New, we are challenged to dig deep and discern the values that are most important for us, and to define the changes necessary to live out these values. For the Pope, holiness is a very practical thing; we are called to live out our faith in word and in deed. The Word of God and the Bread of Heaven sustain us on our journey. They help us to hear the cry of our sisters and brothers, especially those who are most in need, and the cry of the earth, our common home.
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