The Season of Creation Focuses on Justice and Peace for All

Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI – The Season of Creation for 2023 focuses on fundamental virtue of justice for true peace for all life on planet Earth which Pope Francis calls our COMMON HOME. If we truly want peace, we must pray, work, and promote justice. The theme for the Season of Creation 2023, “Let Justice and Peace Flow”, invites all people on planet Earth to make a new commitment to pray for justice and peace not only for human beings but for all creation. For this to happen, in our covenant with creation, we are called to repent of our ecological sins and to change our attitudes and actions and to actively be true promoters of peace. Throughout this season, we encourage all our leaders at all levels and call our communities to actively participate in this season by joining together more closely on how we can respond to the cry of creation which is suffering in many ways. We must act now so as not to miss our chance to create a more sustainable and just world for all now and in the future. Through the great prophet Amos, our loving God and Creator encourage all to, “let justice flow on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” 5:24. Justice is the guiding inspiration and force in the Season of Creation and begins with God and is written in all our hearts at Creation. The first duty of justice is to give thanks and praise to God, and then to respect and care for all that God has made.

September 1st- World Day of Prayer for Creation

The Season of Creation an Ecumenical Celebration begins on September 1, 2023, a Worldwide Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation established by Pope Francis, and ends on October 4th, the beautiful Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the great patron of Creation. Pope Francis in his prayer message, calls all Christians of different denominations to promote the sacredness of all life on earth, especially human life that begins at conception, by praying together and taking concrete action for the protection and well-being of our Common Home. Pope Francis also calls on all humanity to work more actively in a spirit of justice and peace to end the era of fossil fuel and to protect and promote all life to grow and flourish right in our homes and families and throughout the world. The United Nations Intergovernmental panel on climate control said that acting now with greater urgency means that we will not miss our chance to create a more sustainable and just world for the future. Truly much can be done by all provided we come together like so many streams, brooks merging finally in a wider mighty river to irrigate all the life of our marvelous planet, especially our human family for generations to come. A mighty river is the symbol chosen to go with this year’s theme representing biodiversity, which is being lost on our mother earth, which is suffering. The Season of Creation demands that we urgently work for justice so that we will have peace with the earth and on earth.

The Situation of Mother Earth

This ecumenical Season of Creation is a call for all humans to appreciate the beauty and goodness that surrounds in God’s creation, and to thank our Creator for this amazing gift on which we all depend for life. However, in a spirit of true justice it is a time to do an honest assessment of the situation on mother earth which is suffering mainly because of the abuse and misuse by we humans. The well-informed environmentalist Elizabeth Johnson paints us a dire and grim picture of our planet as it is at this moment. She summarizes, “the awful, undeniable reality we face today is that Earth is in trouble. Due to human action and inaction, the planet is warming. Severe droughts, wildfires, floods, and storms are wreaking havoc. Hundreds if not thousands of species are rapidly becoming extinct. The resulting damage disrupts the lives of even more millions of people, among them those who become climate refugees”. “Efforts to care for the Earth are multiplying, as seen in everything from international agreements to individual lifestyle choices. These efforts, however, face fierce opposition from political and financial forces. And we cannot underplay indifference”. “The conviction that the one living God created and loved the whole world holds revolutionary potential to motivate care for the Earth.”

Pray and Work Together for Justice

Amidst this dangerous and complex scene of our planet, Pope Francis points out a spiritual road map to follow. “I would like from the outset to show how faith convictions can offer Christians, and some other believers as well, ample motivation to care for nature and for the most vulnerable of their brothers and sisters…it is good for the world at large when we believers better recognize the ecological commitments which stem from our convictions.” To sum it up, this calls for major new efforts by all humanity to work together for environmental justice. This motivates us to give due respect, appreciation and active care for each life and all life on earth as we work together for an integral ecology which recognizes that the web of life is one. The Season of Creation is an ecumenical moment for all people to pray and work together in a spirit of justice and love, guided by the Holy Spirit, to renew the face of the earth as our Creator intends.

A Chalice of Grace

All people working together in a spirit of justice, especially in social, economic, church, schools, and political communities, can contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace in this Season of Creation. Environmental justice calls us to transform our hearts, lifestyle and public policies ruling our societies, which can heal our Common Home so that it can once again teem with life. Transforming our hearts will lead to ecological conversion and to the renewal of our relationship to all creation and to see it as a sacred gift from our Creator. The beautiful creation that surrounds us is a chalice of grace from our Creator.

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