Read Chapter 2 in the attatched file Choose one or two questions and reflect in two or three paragraphs on the subject area: At the heart of the Pope’s teaching is what it means to be human as part of God’s plan in creation. To gain a proper understanding of the relationship between human beings and the world, our Holy Father says, we must look to Christian anthropology as divinely revealed in the Book of Genesis. Here we learn that the earth is not ours to do with what we want, but to care for it and all that is in it. The creation accounts, he says, “suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth itself. [However,] these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us” because of sin (66). Because everything is interrelated, this breakdown has led to environmental deterioration. Questions for Reflection: • Which passage means the most to you and why? • How relevant is the voice of the Pope and the Church on this issue of the environment? • In Genesis 1:28 and 2:15, we read that God gave newly-created humanity “dominion” over the earth, to “cultivate and care for it.” How does Pope Francis interpret these passages? What does he say is our responsibility to God’s earth and the creatures in it? • For whom did God create the earth? Who is entitled to the goods of the earth? What is meant by the phrase “universal destination of goods”? • During the preparation of the gifts at Mass, the celebrant prays, “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.” To this we respond, “Blessed be God forever.” How do these words express the relationship between God, humanity, the natural world, and his plan for creation? • What is the ultimate destiny of the universe according to Pope Francis? • What additional thoughts do you have for discussion on this chapter?