Advent is a time of waiting. This season, we wait for the unimaginable good—the birth of God among us, Emmanuel. And this is not a passive waiting. On the contrary, we spend these weeks preparing the way so that our hearts and the world alike are fertile ground for this seed of divine love when it arrives.
In the work for ecological justice, I spend a lot of time thinking of this sort of active waiting. So much of the time, it can feel like we are just waiting—whether we're waiting for decision-makers to act with moral courage and integrity for the future of our planet or waiting for the clock to run out. Sometimes, this waiting can feel hopeless. I, for one, at times can feel powerless before such enormous systems, overwhelmed by the scope and complexity of the change that this protracted moment of crisis requires.
This Advent season, however, I'm reminded that, against all the odds, God chose to take on the fullness of the human experience—not as a powerful ruler, but as a powerless child, born to a marginalized and stigmatized family on the run. Our God is a God of surprises who calls us, even in the midst of our despair, to prepare the way for the unimaginable good, the inbreaking of love into a world of suffering.
This Advent, how can you prepare the way with your actions for the birth of the unimaginable good, even as you endure this long night of waiting? How can you begin right now to create the habitable and thriving future you long for, a world of ecological justice and restored relationship within and among creation?
Director of Youth and Young Adult Mobilization, Catholic Climate Covenant
Creation Care at the National Catholic Youth Conference
In mid-November, more than 10,000 high school youth, priests, youth ministers, and chaperones convened in Indianapolis for this year's National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) gathering. Among attendees were members of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis's Creation Care Commission, who brought integral ecology to life through a host of creative and interactive activities, including "plarning"—knitting from plastic—mats for people experiencing homelessness. In addition to plarning, participants could take a selfie with Pope Francis and add their thoughts on caring for creation as a sticker, wander through the 'Forest of Mercy' to see what actions they can take in their daily lives, sign up for the Laudato Si' Action Platform, pray with the Ignatian Eco Examen, or roll The Earth Cube. Learn more about the Creation Care Commission's involvement at NCYC and get inspired on their blog.
Laudato Si' Movement Is Hiring!
Our friends at Laudato Si' Movement are seeking a full-time, temporary U.S. Outreach Coordinator. For more information and to apply, visit their website.
Dare to Hope for Ecological Justice This Advent
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Durham, North Carolina, has produced an Advent Calendar, Daring to Hope, with daily ideas for spiritual reflection and actions to care for the poor and our common home. Check out their great work on our website!
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