Today marks the end of the Church’s Season of Creation, a time when the Church calls on us to remember that we are protectors of this earth and have been given responsibility to care for it, not to plunder and destroy it. The parable told in the Gospel today also speaks of this as we hear that the workers of the vineyard have lost sight of their original agreement with the owner and, consumed by greed, have lost their way.
Today is also the feast of St Francis of Assisi. He experienced all of God’s creation as family: ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Wind, Sister Water’. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who saw how intimately connected everything in this world really is. The COVID 19 crisis has reminded all of us of this deep interconnection; what happens in one part of the world affects us all as we share one common humanity and live together on a common home. During the days of lockdown many of us became more aware of simple things like birdsong, trees, flowers, the earth resting. Pope Francis says that this deeper awareness, ‘takes us to the heart of what it is to be human’ and gives us an opportunity to regain a sense of awe and wonder for creation. ‘Just as happens when we fall in love with someone, whenever St Francis would gaze at the sun, the moon or the smallest of animals, he burst into song.’ (Laudato Si’, 11). The roots of the environmental crisis are deeply spiritual. As we bring this Season of Creation to a close, let it be a spring-board into contemplation and action where our relationship with God’s creation is concerned. This is an urgent call. And one which faith communities have a responsibility to respond to. ‘Truly much can be done!’ (Laudato Si’, 180)
© Tríona Doherty, The Deep End, Intercom Magazine, Veritas.