Creation mass ( last Sunday in September) Ordinary time, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Our Catholic faith motivates us to act. Radically changing the way we live to help heal our planet is no longer a choice but a necessity. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ inspires us to respond with love to God and to our planet. Both Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching help us do this. In caring for the earth, living more simply, being less wasteful and learning about the earth, we will discover the integrity of creation and recognise the value of caring for it. Responding with consideration and concern will lead us to an “ecological conversion,” which will in turn transform our hearts with greater love for our Creator and for creation. It will help us listen to God’s message in creation “with awe and wonder” (LS 11). And, reflecting on our words and actions, we will humbly acknowledge where we fall short and practice new ways of living simply, in solidarity with creation.
Our actions will help us nurture a “culture of care” (LS 231) for one another, for ourselves, and for all living beings that share our common home. We will want to honour each other’s gifts and limitations, and celebrate our relationships.
Laudato Si calls us to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (LS 49) by urging us to take action for both ecological and climate justice. We will see the need to act in solidarity with communities that carry an unjust burden of the ecological crisis, including future generations. We will want to challenge the structures of sin and call for “radical change” (LS 171) while remaining nonpartisan, nonviolent and open to dialogue.
Since everything is connected (LS 91), we will discover ever more clearly how ecological, cultural, and social issues are essentially intertwined. This will help us renew our efforts to protect all human life, from womb to tomb, as well as protect other species.
Our efforts of caring for creation and working with others will be nourished by the rich diversity in creation, in the Church and outside. It will call us to honour the unique gifts of each individual and every organization, and help develop a “spirituality of global solidarity” (LS 240).
We will also recognise and be encouraged knowing that we serve alongside the whole Catholic family, from the grassroots to the hierarchy, including clergy, religious and laity as we build relationships between the Church and the environmental movement. We will be “Christian environmentalists” who are environmentalists among Christians and Christians among environmentalists. This will enable us to collaborate with other organizations and individuals across borders and regions, work hand-in-hand with other Christians, other faith communities, and social and environmental movements as a single human family.
Delighting in creation’s song and responding to creation’s cry, let us encourage an “ecological spirituality” of reflection and prayer, while responding vigorously to the urgency of the crisis.
Rest assured that things can change (LS 13) and rejoice in this ministry as an expression of our deep love for God and for creation.
We entrust our efforts to the Holy Spirit and Mary Queen of Creation.
by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a