Reflection for the end of the Season of Creation
St Teresa of Avila Church.
05th October 2021
Anna Byrne, Daughter of Charity
He said to them; ‘Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole of creation’ Mark 16:15
Our world is wonderful - GOOD NEWS – indeed. The awe and majesty of creation can overwhelm us and take our breaths away -if only we take time to gaze at a small flower or even a garden bird. Someone once said,
“Our lives are measured not by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away.”
Christianity has a rich history of praising the wonder and beauty of God’s creation. Our scripture, particularly the OT psalms, or hymns based on the psalms like- the one we just listened to help us to raise ou r voices in praise of creation. I loved the reading from the book of Job (Job 12:7-10) too especially the last bit:
“In God’s hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all humankind.”
This world and all within it, is after all – God’s greatest gift to us.
800 years ago -St. Thomas Aquinas - a doctor of the Church, said
“If we get creation wrong, we get God wrong.”
In the 13th century St Francis of Assisi -whose feast day we celebrate today, was sensitive to the wonder of all God’s creatures and as we know a source of amusement for some as he is said to have proclaimed the Good News to the birds and the cows- Did he have the right idea? .. I wonder if the raueal story was lost over time! ..
Pope Francis 6 years ago, building on the work of his predecessors, began his encyclical Laudato Si’ with words, ”Praise be to you, My Lord’ from the Canticle of the creatures attributed to St Francis of Assisi- In this prophetic letter - subtitled ‘On care for our common home’ our Pope says that a sense of awe and wonder comprise a core value for living out our faith. We are in good company then, as we mark the ending of the Season of Creation on the feast day of Francis of Assisi which began on September 1st for our diocese with a celebration in St Peter’s Cathedral.
Creation is beautiful - more Good news. David Attenborourgh’s many nature films and documentaries capture this beauty very sensitively. The beauty and charm of the many species filmed can speak to us even as we sit in the comfort in our living rooms watching TV
But familiarity over time, as we all know can reduce our appreciation of beauty. – Yet, Pope Francis tells us in Laudato Si’ that:
‘to love God we must love what God loves.’
He also says that the more we see the beauty of our gracious earth the more we will reverence and protect it.
In other words what is constantly on display, even if it is beautiful, can become invisible and we could lose a sense of appreciation and reverence - even for something we once held dear.
For some time now, we have not lived in harmony with creation, Pope Francis wrote about this in L Si’, the ads on the TV even, remind us about our wasteful lifestyles, we forget that there is no planet B. There is good news however, there is hope for our planet and for us. We do have time to make a difference, if we in our parishes adopt a culture of care then the generations after us will be able to enjoy the wonder and beauty of creation and taste the fruitfulness of the earth -such as we see here at the foot of the altar.
This culture of care starts with a sense of gratitude for what we have.
A culture of care means that we are sensitive to people in need and to the other areas of our creation that need special attention - we need to invest our money in both for their protection.
Finally, a culture of care means that we appreciate that all that God made is finite, -there is a limit after all to what we can take from planet that has given constantly over the centuries
Hildegard of Bingen- German mystic of the 11th century knew what many of us seem to have forgotten in modern times, her words, I feel, sum up what we can take from the celebration of season of creation 2021
Glance at the sun, See the moon and stars.
Gaze at the beauty of Earth’s greenings.
Now think what delight God gives to humankind.
But we are to work with it.
For without it we cannot survive.
And Jesus said …………. Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole of creation