Ecological sin and the health of our common home

By Suzana Moreira, 28 September 2021
Image: Brian Yurasits/Unsplash


“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off… And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off… And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” (Mark 9:42-43, 45, 47).

“This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life” (LS 2).

How could we possibly get rid of body parts and not have grave consequences to our health?

Instead of looking into the literal meaning of these words in the Gospel of Mark, we must find in between the lines what God reveals for our deeper conversion and commitment to a life of missionary discipleship. Jesus’ words are a harsh reminder that we cannot be flexible to sinful ways.

Drawing from this radical call that we must cut off and pluck out whatever strays us from the path of love and justice, we may approach Jesus’ teachings reflecting about how it speaks to the ecological sins we still commit today. What must we get rid of in our lives to avoid the grave consequences to the health of our common home?

For us to be missionary disciples of Christ in a world being degraded by our lifestyles, we must recognize our ecological sins and help one another in this ecological conversion to guarantee a healthier planet, which in turn is what can sustain healthier people.

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The Diocese of Parramatta’s Peace, Justice and Ecology Office has created a website full of online activities and resources to commemorate the Season of Creation, which runs until 4 October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. Visit today.

Suzana Moreira is a Theological Consultant for Laudato Si’ Movement.

With thanks to the Laudato Si’ Movement and Suzana Moreira, where this article originally appeared.


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