Eco-Bites  - Special Edition, February 2020.
Fraternity, justice and the Amazon synod

'Efforts to build a just society call for a capacity for fraternity.'
                                    Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation on the Amazon.

In his reflection on the Amazon Synod, Pope Francis speaks of the grim history of exploitation which goes back many generations and has left deep scars. Yet he points to signs of hope, beginning with the enduring values of the Amazon peoples - their respect for community and nature.. He points to the role of missionary priests in defending the rights of indigenous peoples and to an emerging global solidarity.

Young indigenous people today are being forced to leave their home and live on the margins of cities. The transmission of culture is ruptured. and yet the Amazon remains an area of great human diversity, including indigenous and African, and stories continue to be handed on. Pope Francis calls all cultures to sit around the same table, to listen and learn, because dialogue benefits everyone.

We  let our consciences be deadened - trying not to acknowledge what is happening, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing is happening.. Pope Francis speaks of how the original peoples of the world we can show us how to contemplate - to look at the world with a vision which is conscious of the bonds linking all beings.

He concludes with the dream of a church in solidarity with Amazonian culture, sharing resources but also sharing the kerygma - the proclamation of faith in Christ. Those who have encountered Christ cannot fail to talk of Him to others. 

This is Eco-bites' take on the 'kerygma' and readers' comments are welcome:

Jesus inspires in us a joyful willingness to walk with others in their struggles and to speak of him with spontaneity. When we cannot speak, we can pray: 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.' To pray for faith is to pray for joy.
Eco-bites is a monthly online newsletter of the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) on integral ecology.

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