Yesterday, Dec 11, I attended various side-events to COP15, and I am left with some puzzle pieces of thoughts.
(4) José Ignacio and myself participated in a eucharistic celebration at the roman catholic St. Ansgar cathedral in Copenhagen, presided by the archbishop of Kampala and organized by Caritas Internationalis on the occasion of COP15. Although Roman Catholics are a very small minority in Denmark, this eucharist reflected a very lively and welcoming community. The youth choir was impressive.
Participation in the liturgy reminded me how important a eucharistic celebration can be in the context of the worldwide climate change crisis: this celebration connects us globally – the eucharist is celebrated worldwide; there is time to take in reality, our responsibilities and our mistakes in reality; we celebrate the beauty of our world and thank God for it; we participate in God’s work in creation and bring this on the table, where this shared work shapes us into a church; the readings, and particularly the gospel reading, remind us that we belong to the world, as in the incarnation the Lord belongs to the world – our faith is not about moving out of the world into some other kind of world, but about moving into the world to move with it into its full future, the Reign of God; there is celebration of communion with God, with our fellow human beings and with the world; we are reminded of our mission into our world and of the fact that this mission leads us into total commitment – that we may be celebrating the eucharist as Christ did, on the eve of his passion. All of these are crucial attitudes today, in the midst of a growling world, as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his “Messe sur le Monde” was well aware of. I refer to him here, because his writings and those of Thomas Berry, accompany me here, and I am glad to have those two beacons with me in Copenhagen.
Egied Van Broeckhoven, a Flemish Jesuit priester worker in Brussels during the second half of the nineteenth century, parts of whose diary have been published also in English, describes this double movement of incarnation as participation in the work of a growning world, a world that struggles against injustice and inhumanity; as well as as intimate encounter with God precisely in this world. His holy ground was the factory, our holy ground today is our planet.