“Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.”

Sooner or later, we Catholic ecologists must decide where our loyalties lie.

During tonight’s reading of John’s passion narrative, I was struck with the iconic moment when the mob chooses freedom for Barabbas, the revolutionary, over Jesus the Christ. It’s an image that we Catholic ecologists shouldn’t turn away from. Indeed, it should challenge us.

After all, let’s answer this honestly: When we Catholic eco-advocates engage in environmental matters, what expectations do we bring? What strategies do we employ? In all our marches, petitions, and civil disobedience, are we crying out for the revolutionary, or for the Savior of the world?

Yes, the world needs a revolution. We need a new status quo to scale back the catastrophic levels of ecological destruction that we humans continue to unleash upon God’s creation. But the revolution we need is not political. It's not rooted in the tactics that seek the overthrow of the ruling powers.

What’s needed is God’s revolution. What’s needed to save the world is grace. The grace that flows from the very heart of the Risen Christ Crucified.

Our job, then, is to be revolutionaries of grace. More than ever, the world needs the Church and her priests to usher that grace into the faithful, so that we can bring it to the places that need it: the boardrooms, big-box stores, the halls of government, the individual shopping cart, and the family.

I am convinced, my brothers and sisters in Christ—my fellow eco-advocates—that even when we engage in eco-advocacy, our mission should first, foremost, and always be evangelization. True, loving, life-changing, and honest evangelization.

Because what we need to save the world are men and women washed with the waters of baptism, strengthened with the sacrament of reconciliation, and unified by the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

And so, this Easter Season, let us prayerfully consider these questions: where do our loyalties lie, and in whom do we trust? And if we say, “I trust in God,” then do we truly trust in his tactics?

About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.