Each year from September 1 to October 4, the Feast of St. Francis – the patron saint of ecology – we celebrate God’s gift of Creation; the gift of this beautiful earth. Creation flows out of the heart of an infinitely loving Creator.
The Theme for this year is “the Web of life – biodiversity as God’s blessing”. This Theme helps us to meditate on two essential facts about creation: it comes from God and we play a part in it. We are part of a single, wondrously complex, delicate interdependent web of life that is woven by God. During the Season of Creation, we unite as one family in Christ, celebrating the bonds we share with each other and with “every living creature on Earth” (Genesis 9:10). We celebrate the Season by spending time in prayer, considering ways to inhabit our common home more sustainably, and lifting our voices in the public sphere “God has written a precious book, whose letters are the multitude of created things. From panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe… Alongside revelation in Sacred Scripture, there is a divine manifestation in the blaze of the sun and the fall of night” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 85)
Creation is given as a gift to all of us and we are called to shared responsibility for its protection. The scriptures begin with God’s affirmation that all of creation is “very good” and as stewards of God’s creation, we are called to protect and nurture its goodness.
The story of Noah includes God’s covenant with, not only humanity but the earth and its creatures. “God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between me and you and every living ceature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set my bow in the cloud and it shall be a sign of a covenant between me and the earth”. Genesis 9:12-13
The web of life – biodiversity – matters not only because human well-being dpends on stable and thriving ecosystems and the services they give us, from clean water and food to oxygen, clothing and climate regulation and all the resources we use from nature. It matters firstly because God gives value to every creature that is created. As Pope Francis states “it is not enough, to think of different species merely as potential “resources” to be eploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right” (Laudate Si 33; on Care of our common home.) Today, human behaviour is destroying the fabric of God’s creation at an unprecedented rate. Today more than ever, we need to look beyond immediate concerns (cf Laudate Si, 36) and beyond a purely utilitarian view of reality, “in which efficiency and productivity are entirely geared to our individual benefit. We know that our world is currently suffering from a catastrophic loss of bio-diversity, largely caused by a consumerist culture. “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole…”. Pope Benedict XVI. We have a duty to hand the earth on to future generations in such a condition that they too can worthily inhabit and continue to cultivate it. Holy Rosary Parish can lead by example and show its commitment to care for the earth.