23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
This year, the theme for the season of creation is A home for all? ‘Restoring Our Common Home’. During this season we are asked to come together to celebrate creation and protect our common home through prayer, reflection, and action, which begins with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Our Common Home (Sept. 1) and ends on St. Francis Day (Oct. 4). This is an ecumenical initiative that seeks to strengthen awareness for the care of Creation and echoes the spirit of Laudato Si: “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. “The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” (13).
Often have forget that we live in the household of God, the family, and the Community. Our fundamental interconnectedness has been at best forgotten, at worst deliberately denied. As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We see that our wellbeing is interwoven with its wellbeing. Let us rejoice in this opportunity to care for our common home and the sisters and brothers who share it.
In this way, ecological awareness becomes everyone’s responsibility. We are called to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other and to encourage our parish communities to do the same, “for we know that things can change!” (Laudato Si’, 13). This change, this conversion, this transformation begins with you and me in the here and now.
The earth is a home for all, but it is now in danger because of greed, exploitation, disrespect, disconnection, and systematic degradation. The whole creation is still crying out. Yet, over the years we were able to identify and name some of the wounds of the world: pollution, degradation of biodiversity, water, soil, and environment; extinction of animal and plant species; global warming, etc. All of this, of course, is also linked to the suffering and wounds of the poorest people, because here the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor become one. In this way, the causes and consequences of the ecological crisis are becoming so great that they also challenge our Christian faith. The question is what actions have we taken to correct our faults? We cannot sit and watch anymore; we need to act now.
As we to reflect on our individual and communal contribution to the pain we have caused ‘our common home’, our brothers and sisters and the whole of creation; let us pray for the grace of transformation and the courage to act rightly now. May God bless you and keep you safe
~ Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ