Laudato Si 243-245: Beyond The Sun

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. These are short sections, and this is a brief subheading in the final chapter. Let’s look at IX. Beyond the Sun. First, a cosmic and far-reaching vision of the future, not just in an eternal heaven, but in an immense and unimaginably vast universe:

243. At the end, we will find ourselves face to face with the infinite beauty of God (cf. 1 Cor 13:12), and be able to read with admiration and happiness the mystery of the universe, which with us will share in unending plenitude. Even now we are journeying towards the sabbath of eternity, the new Jerusalem, towards our common home in heaven. Jesus says: “I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.

This vision of a future of glory does not mean passivity on our part. As good stewards, we have work to do, and we also continue to seek God in our earthly pilgrimage. I suppose we continue to seek, even if we think we know him well:

244. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God, for “if the world has a beginning and if it has been created, we must enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator”.[Basil the Great, Hom. in Hexaemeron, I, 2, 6: PG 29, 8] Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.

God is the source of strength and tenacity needed to continue the great work with which we have been entrusted:

245. God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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