Tomorrow is Earth Day, an occasion that has been celebrated since 1970 but which, only in recent years, is assuming ever greater dimensions, also due firstly to the current pandemic crisis and now the war in Ukraine. It is a deafening echo of the many wars still being fought in different parts of the globe.
There is still much reflection needed on the value of life, even if it seems far away, it is necessary to cultivate a serious awareness of how important it is to invest in “quality of life” and not only “survival”.
It also seems that not even the appeals and words that have been spoken in recent years to recall the shared responsibility towards the common home are having the desired effect, at least in the large systems that, although committed to signing agreements, estimate dates so far away for the realisation of a real leap in quality.
But perhaps there is a way out that does not require a decrease in pace to wait for the decisions of the great of the earth: it is the way “from below”, the one that each of us can undertake and make with ease and little effort, putting in place all those measures that, if adopted, can make a real difference.
Spurred on by Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato si”, ecclesial communities are also active in this direction and dedicate the month of September in particular, to the annual awareness of this issue. Today, however, it is important to ask ourselves: can there be a commitment to the common home if the human family is torn apart by the horror of war?
Therefore, the commitment to the protection of the environment must be able to go hand in hand with an increased sensitivity and responsibility for peace, not so much as the absence of war, but as an inner personal attitude that must empower all areas of human life.
May the peace that Christ bestows on his followers on Easter evening find real space to be fulfilled in the lives of each one of us, and may the Risen Lord bless the efforts of all, believers and non-believers alike, for the realisation of an “integral ecology” that saves man from himself.
+ Angelo Massafra OFM
Metropolitan Archbishop of Shkodër-Pult
Head of the CCEE Safeguard of the Creation Section