Although Pakistan has contributed very little in relative terms to the build-up of greenhouse gases, the main cause of global warming and climate change, it is suffering disproportionately from the consequences of climate change and is numbered among the world’s top ten countries who are most affected by it.
A perfect storm can wipe out fishing, agriculture, and logging, which are the only livelihoods for many. Without a home or a livelihood, vulnerable people are forced to migrate, either internally or externally. Many end up living in city slums or displaced persons’ camps where the standard of living push them deeper into poverty and into health risks.
Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbor, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with the other, with God, and with the earth. When all these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tell us that life itself is endangered.
We don’t need business owners and moneychangers selling us a false bill of goods. We already have God. God gives our lives all the meaning and happiness we could ever need. By accumulating money and consuming things we distance our soul from this truth, and we deaden our senses to the beauties and pleasures that God gives us.
We are all called to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” – to stand in solidarity with creation. Faced with the oftentimes difficult and scary task of discipleship, we can all take comfort from St. Paul’s counsel in today’s second reading: “If God is for us, who can be against us? … Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?” (Romans 8: 31 & 33)