“All that the Easter story raises for us, the creation, the new creation, the light, the earth, abundance, life-giving water, tell us that care for the environment is an essential element of our Easter faith,” he said.
He referred to the story of creation in Genesis, when God instructs humans to "be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living animals on the earth.”
The cardinal expressed concern about devastating environmental catastrophes, over-fishing, deforestation and pollution. He called on Christians to “live simply” and to adopt lifestyles that are not wasteful of resources.
“Jesus told us to look to the signs around us, to observe the air and the sky and the weather,” he said. “We hear a great deal these days about climate change and we do well to heed the warnings about global warming that come to us almost daily. But we are mistaken if we consider climate change to be the only problem, imagining that if we fly less or burn less fuel or plant more trees somehow the environmental damage will be corrected.”
He said good stewardship of the environment must be understood in light of the witness and example of Jesus.
“He taught us very clearly what it is to be a master. It is to be a servant,” the cardinal said. “Far from understanding Genesis as permission to take what we like from the earth, we must consider ourselves to be at the service of the earth, every bit as much as we are the service of our neighbor.
“Quite simply, we must learn to live simply,” the Cardinal said. “By living simply we will do all that our Easter faith demands of us.
“Our own mission is to once more honor creation, and to serve the creator through that same creation. It is a mission to live simply.”
.- The symbols and Scripture readings of the Easter season remind Christians of their responsibility to be good stewards of the earth, said Cardinal Keith O'Brien in his Easter Sunday homily at St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.