Starting today, and for four more Sundays, we will be sharing some thoughts on Creation. The Season of Creation is a new Liturgical Season for the Catholic community globally as it joins the 30-year ecumenical/orthodox history of celebration under the leadership of Pope Francis and through the promotion of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
It extends from September 1st, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. It is a liturgical season dedicated to prayer, reflection, and celebration of God as the creator. It also celebrates and reflects prayerfully on the fits of creation and the mission given us by God to care for creation and respond to its needs and crises today.
In the first reading, Ezekiel describes God’s warning to himself and to us: we are responsible for each other. If we hear and fail to relay God’s Word, God’s call to conversion to those for whom it is intended, we will be held responsible and complicit in their sin and in the suffering and punishment it brings. One of Pope Francis’s central beliefs at the heart of “Laudato Si” is that everything and everyone is connected, interdependent. We are responsible for each other. God speaks to us and calls us to conversion in many ways. In the context of the Season of Creation, we need to listen to that Word of God in “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.” (L.S. 49)
St. Paul’s letter to the Romans puts this prophetic education and invitation to care for creation in their deepest context: they are expressions of the great commandments that sum everything up: Love God. Love your neighbor. All is interdependent, all is interconnected. We cannot say we love God if we do not love our neighbor. We cannot say we love our neighbor if we do not care for the air, the water, the land, the ecological systems, the intricate Web of Life upon which our neighbors and we depend for life itself.
In the gospel, Jesus lays out a way to convey the urgent prophetic warnings in this time of ecological crisis, an approach that shows respect for those who need to hear these truths and invites conversion gently but persistently. At the same time, the approach is realistic: there will be those who will not listen. The prophetic word around these issues is far too important and urgent to get bogged down in endless arguments with those who, in the words of Psalm 12, have hardened their hearts. Move on to where the work of conversion and the growth of the New Creation can find fertile ground and produce a hundredfold. Christ calls us together too in prayer, promising to be with us, promising us that our prayer will be heard. Let our prayer deepen our awe and reverence before God revealed powerfully in creation.
Peace and good.
(taken from Season of Creation booklet 2020)
For resources and information, click here to visit the Diocese of San Diego Office for Creation Care for Families.