by Paulina French “It’s very important to know the neighbour next door and the people down the street and the people in another race” (Maya Angelou)
In the story of Cain and Abel, we see how envy led Cain to commit the ultimate injustice against his brother, which in turn ruptured the relationship between Cain and God, and between Cain and the earth from which he was banished. (Gen 4:9-11). Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbour, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with others, with God and with the earth. When all these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tells us that life itself is endangered. We see this in the story of Noah, where God threatens to do away with humanity because of its constant failure to fulfil the requirements of justice and peace: (Gen 6:13). These ancient stories, full of symbolism, bear witness to a conviction which we today share, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others. (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, n. 70)
I ask for the grace to love my neighbour as you love me.
Help me to welcome those who are different to me so that we can share the fruits of the earth together in peace and unity.
Help me see others as equal to me as you see us as your children.