Today the world celebrates Earth Day 2021.The objective of this annual event is the restoration of our earth by reducing climate change. The theme for 2021, the second ‘Earth Day’ Live digital event, is ‘Restore our Earth.’
President Joe Biden and his Administration will convene a global climate summit today to celebrate Earth Day 2021. EARTHDAY.ORG delights and feels honoured that such an event takes place. In a two-day Summit 22-23 April 2021, with the participation of 40 world leaders, the aim is ‘to galvanize efforts by the world’s major economies to keep the vital Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.’
Multiple important environmental events have taken place on Earth Day since 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson organised the first Earth Day with the purpose of bringing the environmental issue into the national agenda. One significant event includes the recent signing of the Paris Agreement. This shows Earth Day continues to be an important and unifying day every year.
The world hopes that this historic climate summit will make active progress to restore our earth. For this to happen it is essential that the EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission empowers and expands the environmental movement. Every person in the world has a responsibility to engage in this mission for the care of our common home. Each one chooses to take action and make a difference to engage in this mission.
It is important to recognise and mark important events such as Earth Day.
The reading for Mass today (Acts 8:26-40) proclaims an important event in the life of an Ethiopian official, a Good News story. Paul and the Ethiopian official encountered one another on a journey. The Ethiopian was reading the Scripture and grappling for understanding. Philip, by Divine Providence happened to travel the road at the same time as the Ethiopian. Philip engaged him in conversation. ‘Do you understand what you are reading? The man replied, ‘How can I unless someone explains it to me? As Philip explained Scripture, the Ethiopian found faith in Jesus and asked for baptism. The baptism took place because God was already at work in the life of the Ethiopian and God was at work in the life of Philip. In everyday language, we say Philip and the Ethiopian official were in the right place at the right time. God draws us to his love through prayer and seeking enlightenment through the Holy Spirit. The Ethiopian’s mind was open to the promptings of the Spirit to what he read in Scripture. Philip represents the disciple who was present to help the man in need of understanding the Scripture.
In our lives, sometimes we seek understanding like the Ethiopian official. Sometimes we are like Philip the disciple who reaches out to help those in need along the way. Pope Francis urges us to be kind and helpful to others. When we do that, we share the Good News so that like the Ethiopian official who went home to share what he learned with others.
Each time we reach out in love, we respond to the call of Earth Day, to restore our Earth. How will we do that today?
The Gospel (Jn 6:44-51) encourages the disciples to nourish their lives with the Eucharist. Jesus says, ‘I am the living bread come down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread that shall live forever.’
Veritas provides online resources for the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme to support the work of restoring the Earth and the care of our common home. These are accessible on the Grow in Love website.
- Read the story about the Ethiopian official and Jesus in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 8:26-40)
- On ‘Earth Day’ 2021, read the Story of Creation from the Book of Genesis
- Pray the prayers to the Holy Spirit/Paidreacha chun an Spiorad Naomh
- Pray The Care of the Earth/Cúram don Domhan prayer
- Listen to the news today and find out what happened at the US Climate Summit 2021
- What part do you play in caring for the Earth?
Sr Anne Neylon