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I want to address now, from this land of Cochabamba, peasant par excellence, to you, Quechua peasants, men of the “bronze lineage”, who from time immemorial populate these valleys and are at the roots of Bolivian nationality; that you have given to the world your nutritional and medicinal findings such as potatoes, corn and quinoa. The Lord continues to accompany your work with His help. He takes care of the birds of the sky, of the lilies that are born in the field, of the grass that sprouts from the earth (Mt 6, 26-30). This is the work of God, who knows that we need the food that the earth produces, that varied and expressive reality that your ancestors called the Pachamama and that reflects the work of divine Providence by offering us His gifts for the good of man.

Such is the deep meaning of the presence of God that you must find in your relationship with the earth, which covers for you the territory, the water, the stream, the hill, the hillside, the creek, the animals, the plants and the trees, because earth is all the work of creation that God has given us. Therefore, when contemplating the earth, the crops that grow, the plants that mature and the animals that are born, raise your thoughts to the God of the heights, the creator God of the universe, who has manifested to us in Christ Jesus, our Brother and Savior. That way you can reach Him, glorify Him and thank Him. “Because the invisible of God, since the creation of the world, [His] intelligence is revealed through his works” (Rm 1:20).

“Blessed is he who … rightly administers his affairs; the righteous will never falter ”(Ps 112 [111], 5-6). Blessed is he who strives in his work, despite the difficulties of the environment. Blessed is he who seeks to build the civilization of love with his work.”

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Pope St. John Paul II

Homily in the Eucharistic Celebration in Cochacamba

May 11th, 1988

[H/T: Dave Armstrong here]

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