Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 8:18-25; Luke 13:18-21)
The window of the car on the highway opened and out went an object – perhaps a plastic cup – littering the road. It was a small act of defiance of both law and public decency indicative of a careless people. But little things add up. An estimated fifty-one billion articles of litter are deposited on the roads of the United States alone every year.
Nevertheless, would it be that litter were today’s biggest environmental problem! In truth there are many greater worries. The burning of fossil fuels creates pollution and likely contributes to global warming. The depletion of forests ruins the habitats of most of earth’s animals and causes the land to dry up. What St. Paul writes to the Romans in the first reading today about the creation groaning makes perfect sense to environmentalists.
Yet Paul also extends a signal of hope. He says that creation will be set free by a redeemed humanity fully in the grasp of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will change our hearts to value the environment as a common patrimony. All good people will cooperate to protect natural resources so that future generations may know the wonder of otters, ocelots, and owls.