Luke Stocking

Luke Stocking

Stocking is Development and Peace Deputy Director of Public Awareness & Engagement, Ontario and Atlantic Regions.

Communion, Participation and Mission are the three key words the Vatican has outlined for the synodal process. My last column was the first of a three-part series that tells the tale of living synodality through these three key words. The tale continues this month — moving on to the key word  “participation.”

Every religion has celebrations tied to the natural world. Celebrations of birth and death, darkness and light, sowing and harvesting all mark the rhythms of our lives and our encounter with God. What does this mean for a humanity hurtling towards the ecological upheaval that a global temperature rise of three degrees promises to deliver? The spectre of climate chaos threatens to disrupt the order by which we connect to God through creation.

On March 1, I was mesmerized by an explosion. Verified footage of a Russian missile striking Freedom Square in Kharkiv, Ukraine, transformed a normal city scene into a giant fireball. The speed of its violence arrested me. “Where was the missile?” I thought. It only became visible to me as I looked for it in the replay. The long and deadly cylinder streaks downwards out of the sky and into the image a millisecond before transforming itself into death and destruction.

Word of a “Freedom Convoy” first reached my ears while I was still far away in Rome. Weeks later, much ink has been spilled, arrests have been made, a $306-million class-action lawsuit is underway, the federal Emergencies Act was invoked for the first time and Angus-Reid published poll results with the headline, “Three-in-four Canadians tell convoy protesters, Go Home Now.” What is a Catholic to think?

We arrived in the Eternal City with the dawn. On the in-flight screen, as we flew through the darkness, I could see the sun racing towards us. It reached Rome the same time as we did.

Isn’t it funny that the liturgical year starts with a period of waiting? Every year we get things going, by waiting. We wait for the birth of Christ through the season of Advent. I think this is fascinating and worthy of contemplation. Recently I found a source for such a contemplation in our country’s two official languages.

Jonathan Castillo is a cartonero in Argentina — a collector of discarded recyclables.

It’s 4:30 a.m. and I cannot sleep. I am too excited. Same thing happened yesterday. I am sitting up in bed in a Comfort Inn in North Bay, Ont. My brother is beside me, also awake. In several hours we will head into Algonquin Park back country for four days in search of brook trout. It is supposed to rain the whole time. And yet, I am still excited.

“We didn’t have any houses destroyed.”

I was recently inspired by Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Faríñez. My jaw dropped as he saved shot after shot in a 0-0 draw against heavily favoured Colombia in the COPA America football tournament, currently being played in Brazil.

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