This sermon was given by Matthew Bartlett, October 2015, as a kind of late St. Frances Day sermon (it had been the week before). It’s a great summary of his first read through Pope Frances’ encyclical on care for our world – Laudato Si’.
Matthew took a clutch of texts as background to his comments: Psalm 24; Genesis 1:26–30; 2:15–17; 3:17–19; Romans 8:18–25; Matthew 6:25–27. Numbers in brackets (x) refer to marked paragraphs in the encyclical. Links to other sites are in red.
Watch this space for more as our lenten study
God’s Earth – Our Home progresses over the next five weeks…
Recently Michael Brantley spoke about St Francis’ impact on the world, and on his own life. In this address we will look at another person whose life has been shaped by that 13th century saint. Jorge Mario Bergoglio – Pope Francis as he is now called. In particular I want to give a brief ‘first response’ to my reading of his recent encyclical Laudato Si’.
What’s an encyclical?
An encyclical is a circular letter. Popes have been writing them for about the last three centuries. Usually papal encyclicals are addressed to the bishops of some particular area, or of the whole world. In this case, Pope Francis writes, ‘Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet… From the outset he declares, ‘In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.’ (3)
Columnist Lindsay Abrams see’s the Popes encyclical as a “green Manifesto”, cataloguing a litany of woes. Though not pulling his punches, especially in the opening two chapters, Pope Frances himself, I think, would see it as much more than that. He writes…
‘The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. (13)
Why is it called Laudato Si’?
Laudato Si’ is medieval Italian. It’s a line from St Francis’s famous poem ‘Canticle of the Sun’, and means ‘Praise be to you’, or ‘Be Praised’, as in ‘Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day’. So the title is signalling that key to this letter is going to be Saint Francis, and about God.
What does it say?
Lots — it’s about 180 small pages. Continue reading God’s Earth – Our Home