Wednesday marks ‘World Environment Day,’ and so the Pope talked about not giving into a culture of extreme consumerism, where things are bought, only to be thrown away soon after. As a prime example, he talked about the problem of throwing away food, while others go hungry.
“We must remember that when we waste or throw away food, it’s as if we’re stealing it from the table of the poor. From those who are hungry! I invite everyone to reflect upon this problem of waste, so that solutions to this problem can be faced with seriousness. May the solutions lead us to a culture of solidarity and sharing with those who need it most.”
With thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope explained that extreme consumerism and poverty are not really economic problems, but rather, ethical and anthropological ones.
He said sharing is part of the solution. As an example, the Pope highlighted the multiplication of loaves, where Jesus feeds a huge crowd with only five loaves of bread and two fishes.
“Jesus asks his apostles that nothing be wasted. Nothing! This is where the 12 food baskets come into play. Why 12? What does this mean? Twelve represents the number of Israeli tribes, so symbolically it means everyone, the entire community.”
The Pope went on to explain that human ecology and environmental ecology are inseparable. The also reminded the crowd that people are called by God to cultivate and care for the Earth.
Among the thousands of people in the Square, several musical groups played a few hymns for the Pope.
“Don’t Waste Food” graphic courtesy of I curious too website.