Bishop Martin Hayes
Jesus came among us and is with us to nurture life. The fulfilment of that purpose meant his suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus faced the reality of opposition filled with the hope of new life. Jesus, in stating that he was destined to go Jerusalem was indicating the beginning of the final stage of his earthly ministry - his upcoming suffering, death, and resurrection. Peter tried to stop him, but Jesus makes it clear that it is not God’s way and reminds us that we too must take up our cross and follow him.
We are called to live in harmony with the rhythm of the life of Jesus. We are, of course, assured that Jesus is with us always, yes, until the end of time (Mt 28:20). As we begin our Season of Creation, we give thanks believing that creation in all its beauty and diversity communicates the mystery of God’s presence. Pope Francis in his message for the Season of Creation, in accord with the theme, ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’, calls us to live in harmony with creation. He says that just as the heartbeat of babies in the womb are in harmony with that of their mothers so we can sense the maternal heartbeat of the earth. In calling us to renew our relationship with the earth, Pope Francis states that it involves our relationships with God, with each other, with creation and with ourselves. We are interconnected with all of life (LS 66). In entering the rhythm of the life of Jesus, the Son of God, we enter the rhythm of God’s gift of creation, the Common Home of our interrelationships. The climate crisis, as highlighted by the sciences, and impacting upon the poor, opposes that rhythm of life. As Christians, we are called to enter the flow of justice for humanity and for creation. Indeed, St. Paul (2nd Rd.) calls us not to model our behaviour on this world, but ‘let your behaviour change’. Jesus, filled with a fire burning in his heart, like Jeremiah (1st Rd.), stayed with the flow of his calling to go to Jerusalem. His urge to keep going despite opposition was irrepressible.
We too are called to tune into this urge of Jesus to renounce everything for the sake of the cause of justice and peace. Pope Francis in his Season of Creation Message urges us to enter the flow of justice for the earth by changing our lifestyles and advocating for the public policies that care for our Common Home. May we, in trusting in the rhythm of life of Jesus, be renewed in our caring for our Common Home.