Day 2: Forty Days to Reflect, Forty Days to Choose
40 years, 40 days.
In today’s first reading, the Israelites are in their 40-year desert journey, following Moses toward the promised land. God gives them 2 options: follow my commandments and you will live prosperously in this new land, or chase idols, instead condemning you and your descendants to death and doom. Yikes.
Well, we’ve just begun our own 40-*day* desert journey, and we have the same options laid before us. And we’re reminded still that our decisions, both individually and collectively, affect not only our lives, but the lives also of our children’s children. Our decisions can enrich the health of our planet, sustaining many new generations; our decisions can also compromise it!
Life or death. These Lenten reflections will invite us into prayerful examination of our politics, economics, habits and decisions:
- Individually and collectively, are we choosing life?
- For our earth’s present and future?
Garrett Gundlach, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic born and bred among the Great Lakes, scouting, bearding and biking his way into religious life. Never caught without a harmonica, often seen hugging trees, and joyfully awaiting the transformation of this world in love.
Garrett Gundlach, SJ is a second-year Jesuit regent at Red Cloud High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. That basically means that he’s halfway through his formation as a Jesuit, learning from high schoolers before learning from books in theology studies. He loves bare feet, crayons, and being laughed at by his students.
Peace and prayers be with you.
I am concerned that the current environmental movement is mostly a bandwagon to market other real drivers. We have assumed that global warming is true, but fifty years ago the issue was global cooling. What will we think in 50 years?
Frank, please don’t fall into that thinking. Global warming Is not an assumption. It is backed by much, much data. I am a practicing Catholic who also studies past climate change for my profession. Climate change has happened in the past, and to a first order we understand what caused these changes, the details we still work in–that is active science–my job. We measure the change in climate and we measure the changes to our atmosphere caused by burning fossil fuels. It is hard to prove things in science but we can disprove that the changes are caused by things like the sun or volcanoes. But the bigger picture–for me– in these reflections are the reminders that this earth–God’s creation–is our gift and that we must take care of it for all of us, including our children, and especially for those in the world who have less, and that depend upon this earth for their subsistence. The Earth is resilient, but the fruits of this earth are for all, and for the poor, climate change impacts their ability to harvest these fruits–these are the ones this journey asks us to consider.