4th Meditation for Christian Unity Prayer Week

"The World Is Confronted With a Serious Ecological Crisis"

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a meditation jointly prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches for the third day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.



The week began Sunday and continues through Jan. 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle. The theme for 2009 is "That They May Become One in Your Hand" (Ezekiel 37:17).

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Day 4

Christians Face-to-Face With Ecological Crisis

Genesis 1:31-2 -- "God saw everything he had made and it was very good"
Psalm 148: 1-5 -- "He commanded and they were created"
Romans 8:18-23 -- "The destruction of creation"
Matthew 13:31-32 -- "The smallest of all the seeds"

Commentary

God created our world with wisdom and love and when he had finished his great work of creation, God saw that it was good.

Today however the world is confronted with a serious ecological crisis. The earth is suffering from global warming as a result of our excessive consumption of energy. The extent of forested area on our planet has diminished by 50% over the last 40 years while the deserts are spreading ever faster. Three quarters of ocean life has already disappeared. Every day more than 100 living species die out and this loss of biodiversity is a serious menace for humanity itself. With the apostle Paul we can affirm: Creation has been delivered into the power of destruction, it groans as in the pains of childbirth.

We cannot deny that human beings bear a heavy responsibility for environmental destruction. Their unbridled greed casts the shadow of death on the whole of creation.

Together Christians must do their utmost to save creation. Before the immensity of this task, they must unite their efforts. It is only together that they can protect the work of the creator. It is impossible not to notice the central place that natural elements occupy in the parables and teaching of Jesus. Christ shows great respect even for the smallest of all the seeds. With the biblical vision of creation as affirmation, Christians can contribute with one voice to the present reflection on the future of our planet.

Prayer

God our Creator, the world was created by your Word and you saw that it was good. But today we are spreading death and destroying our environment. Grant that we may repent of our greed; help us to care for all that you have made. Together, we desire to protect your creation. Amen.

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On the Net:

Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/