A vision of integral ecology

CAFOD staff members Kezia Lavan (Brazil Programme Officer) and Francis Stewart (Theology Programme Advisor) reflect on an alternative vision for the future, inspired by Laudato Si’ and the work of CAFOD’s partners in Brazil.

This year, through Lent and Holy Week, many of us will have had an increased sense of entering the tomb with Jesus. Those of us who have not been venturing out ‘into the deep waters’, as workers in health and social care and critical supply chains, have been subject to lockdown. The feeling of entombment has been greater still for those of us who have lost loved ones and friends to the virus. As I am writing this, Easter has just come and we contemplate the mystery of the empty tomb, accompanying the disciples, in both their joy and bemusement, through the resurrection narratives. Though joyful, they don’t follow conventional ‘happy ending’ tropes. Instead, at times the resurrected Jesus seems to kick-start things again: ‘do not cling to me!’1 he says to Mary Magdalene in St John’s account – don’t hang around, go tell the others, there is much to be done! Yet it is not a return to busy normality that is announced. Something radically new has begun. It gains ground in the footfall of those who were at the tomb, who must forego the human touch of their resurrected friend and tell of the good news.

So now I am pondering what lies ahead, wondering what the world will be like when you are reading this article. As the Vatican Covid-19 Commission has highlighted, what will be the aftermath of the pandemic?

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