The Reign of God
By Kathy Gillis
This issue of Scarboro Missions opens with an article about climate change. Scarboro's Justice and Peace Office coordinator Karen Van Loon writes, "We participate in a world where excessive pursuit of profit has resulted in over consumption and exploitation of the goods of the earth, disregard for impoverished people, and so much waste dumped into the air, water, and land that it threatens the fabric of life on earth."
How do we respond to this overwhelming picture—a vision that seems incompatible with all that we understand of the Reign of God? What is God asking of us now? Karen's article helps us to see this reality in the light of the Gospel and points to ways in which we can participate in bringing about God's vision of a world of justice, peace, and love.
From Brazil, Fr. Ron MacDonell writes about efforts there to preserve the environment. At a recent assembly of all missionaries working with Indigenous peoples in Brazil, they listened to the voices of the people and pledged to support indigenous movements focusing on land and environmental issues. The Brazilian Bishops have also developed this year's national Lenten campaign on the theme of "Fraternity and the life of the planet."
We are also proud to present a review of The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation, co-authored by former Scarboro mis-sioner Mark Hathaway and Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff. Reviewer Arthur Blomme, another former Scarboro missioner, tells us that this award-winning book shows us the path to transforming humanity's way of being in order to bring about a healed earth. It is a book that blends science and spirituality to transform our understanding and our behaviour in a time of crisis, but a crisis of our own making and therefore one that we have the wisdom to rectify.
The first step on this path to healing and wholeness is to become aware of our connectedness with all life and of the goodness and sacred-ness of all creation. "God, out of love, is the creator of all that exists and what God created is good," Fr. John Garten writes in his article exploring the debate between Evolution and Creationism.
We also present an Aramaic translation of Matthew's Beatitudes. May reading this original translation of those very familiar words bring fullness of meaning and be a blessing to you as you reflect on your part in bringing about the Reign of God.
Two champion builders of the Reign of God who continue to inspire us are Bishop Francisco Claver and Bishop Samuel Ruiz. We remember them in this issue with stories by Scarboro missioners who were blessed and privileged to have walked a little way with them.
May these and other stories contained in this issue, help you in some way as you reflect on what God is asking of you today and how we can participate in the great work of building the Reign of God.