BY MELISSA NOVAK
I periodically glance out the window as I drive, and I’m saddened to the core by the amount of litter that fills the grassy areas along the streets. Both the highways and the main roads have copious amounts of trash stuck in bushes, caught along the fences, or blowing about in the grass. Are these items that flew out of a garbage truck that was barreling down the high way, or were they carelessly tossed out the window by passengers and drivers alike? Either way, these discarded items should not be lining our streets the way they do every year when the snow disappears.
God entrusted us to care for the earth. In Genesis 1:26 it reads, “Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
This wondrous creation that we call earth is our home. It’s a beautiful gift that God designed for us. Do our actions towards the environment honor God and fulfill the responsibilities that He gave us, or do they fall short? Every choice that we make from recycling, to using cloth bags instead of plastic, to using public transportation-these decisions all impact the world around us and either help make our environment a safer and cleaner place to live, or contribute to its destruction.
Please join us at St. Mary Mokena on Saturday, April 28th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am (enter school door #10) as we discuss environmental concerns outlined by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si; Care for our common home. Francis is not the first pope to address climate change and care for the earth. His encyclical invites “Every person living on the planet” to make lifestyle changes that will save and protect the earth.
Dave Spesia, Director of the New Evangelization from the Diocese of Joliet, has studied this encyclical and will share key points as well as facilitate a discussion on how we can be good stewards of the earth. “Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others (Laudato Si).”
The world around us is suffering, both its people and its land. No longer can we sit idly by and let others solve the problems that have surfaced after generations of neglect for the planet.
>>For a list of earth-friendly ideas that you can implement in your home, click here
>>To read Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, click here
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Melissa Novak is the Director of Faith Formation at Saint Mary Parish in Mokena.