A Season of Creation
This Sunday is the first of five Sundays celebrating the Season of Creation. Together with the universal church, our parishes Camberwell, Balwyn, Deepdene and Surrey Hills Wattle Park dedicate themselves to reflect on and to raise awareness about protecting our common home: the beautiful natural world and its peoples that surround us. It will end on the first week of October, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of ecology. In this season, we are enjoined to reflect on God’s creation as God’s gift to us. We are also asked to reflect on our role as stewards of creation.
In this Season of Creation, we are invited to discern and take on the mind of God in relation to God’s Creation. In his Encyclical, Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home, paragraphs 65-67, Pope Francis affirms the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, especially, in Genesis, about Creation. Creation is something always good. It is always beautiful. It is always something to be appreciated and enjoyed. Humans are also good. Being made in the likeness and image of God, we are intelligent and capable of closely intertwined relationships with God, our neighbours and the earth itself.
The celebration of the Season of Creation brings to our minds the significance of our mother nature. It invites us in as many ways as we can to protect and to reserve this natural world or this common home, not only for our common good, but also for our children and the future generations.
Could I please ask you this question: what are you going to do after the thirteenth of September or whenever this second lockdown ends? I believe our answers may be very different. Many of us cannot wait for this lockdown to be over so that we can have our usual weekend trips to visit our relatives, or catch up with friends, or have a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant. Some of us would like to travel to our holiday houses near the ocean or mountains, or fly to a beautiful place where we can find ourselves once again reconnected with nature. Nature does not only play an important role in our physical, mental well-being, but it is also a great way for us to communicate with our God, the Creator of all.
However, our natural world: oceans, forests, air and fresh water and so many more resources have been suffering through the hand of human beings. Mother Nature has no time to recover from human beings causing unceasing damage. On the one hand, COVID-19 has caused many problems for our daily lives. On the other hand, the popular notion is that the COVID-19 pandemic has been ‘good for the environment’ that the planet is recovering while humanity stays at home.
As Jesus says in the Gospel today: “If two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.” Matthew 18:20. With this reassurance of God’s presence in our lives at all times, let us entrust our small actions in protecting the earth into the hands of the Creator, and through celebrating the month of creation, may we be encouraged and strengthened to step into the world that has been wounded and assist in making it better.
Let us invite one another to Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Rebuild, Repair, Recycle, Recover, and Resurrect the Earth; and let us set our hearts and ears to listen to God through the sweet sound of the gentle breeze that only our mother nature can provide to us. Now is the time for saving our planet.