October 28, 2016We are traveling south from Kenya to Tanzania to visit a number of Maryknoll missions there. Our journey of over 1500 miles takes us through the Ngorogora crater and the Serengeti national park. The safari through these magnificent jewels of nature offered a glimpse of what God intended in breathing the spirit into every creature on this planet and all creation. These vast African plains are habitat for many endangered species and enable those who visit to experience a unique ecosystem that is in balance. Yet that balance is threatened by global warming its consequences for human and animal habitats
I reflected on why this safari is part of a mission trip. When I think of mission I think of people in need and the many ways we offer help and care for the least on this planet, but care for creation is also part of mission. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. This encyclical makes the connection between economic justice and environmental justice. Justice for the poor everywhere in this planet must be rooted in environmental justice. The most urgent crises facing Mother Earth- global warming, water scarcity, loss of diversity of species and climate change-disproportionately affect the poor. We see this in the USA. While every person in the path of a hurricane suffers some hardship. It is ale at the poor, those on the margins who are least able to rebuild and recover after these disasters.
On the safari we were blessed to see magnificent creatures great and small interconnected in the miraculous circle of life. I wish I could share some of the photos taken but the internet signal is weak. From the Serengeti plain we traveled south to Mwanza where we visit some of the poor in their homes and other mission programs.
Prayer for this night: Lord of all creation, thank you for this beautiful one of a kind planet which we call home. Thank you for breathing your life giving spirit into all creation. Help me to see your divine handiwork in every person and in the diverse species which work together to make life possible on Mother Earth. Son of Justice give us the courage and grace to work for justice for the environment and justice for the poor and marginalized so that together we
May restore this planet to the peaceable kingdom you intended from the beginning of time. Amen.