What has become known as the Season of Creation extends each year from September 1st, which is designated World Day of Prayer for Creation, to October 4th, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Season of Creation 2021 has a special significance in the light of the Report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, which has been described by the United Nations as a ‘Red Alert for Humanity’, and in the light of the upcoming UN Climate Conference (known as COP 26) It is hardly necessary now to advance arguments and statistics about the nature and extent of the environmental crisis. We need to focus instead on what to do.
As Pope Francis has said many times and in many places; ‘Christians need an ecological conversion where the effects of our encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in our lives and in our relationship with the world around us. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.’ (Laudato Si’, 217).
In the Church here today you will find copies of a small leaflet which asks for three things during these coming weeks: Prayer, Reflection, and Action. The Action we are called to, made personal to each of us through Prayer and Reflection, is to take the side of Creation, to change one thing in our lives, to make our voices heard by those in power, to work for a world that is fit to pass on to our children, and where the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are recognised as our Saviour’s voice.
The Parish Website, the Newsletter and our Liturgies over the coming weeks will support us in this cycle of Prayer, Reflection and Action. There is no shortage of ideas and opportunities, but we have to grasp them ourselves, to make them our own; and that is what we are asked to do, for the sake of what Pope Francis calls our casa commun, our common home and the fragile humanity that it shelters.