In September a lot of new things start up again. The parish gets busier as parishioners arrive back home from summer breaks. People return to work and school pupils and staff begin a new school year. Another season begins in the Church called ‘Creation Time’. What is Creation Time?
In response to Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home, which calls us all to respond to the challenge of climate change and its impact on the world, CAFOD and the Liverpool Archdiocese Justice and Peace Commission developed a series of resources for Creation Time (the period this year from August 30th – October 4th) for each liturgical year. Creation Time is an opportunity for ‘eco-conversion’ during the beginning of the harvest season from late summer into autumn.
Pope Francis developed the message of Laudato Si’: Care of our Common Home with his call to a Year of Mercy in 2016 when he added Care for Creation to the traditional Works of Mercy.
The issues Pope Francis drew attention to in Laudato Si’ are still with us and have become more urgent.
“The Christian life involves the practice of the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness … But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.”
Each resource contains the Sunday Gospel, prayers, excerpts from Laudato Si’, stories to illustrate some of the issues, and points for discussion and action. The resources have been popular in the Liverpool Archdiocese and have been used further afield. As a contribution to sharing Pope Francis’ call as widely as possible, two resources (Creation Time and Lent) have been brought together into one volume, with sessions for each of the three years of the liturgical cycle. Although the format is based on the Roman Catholic calendar, Pope Francis addresses his call to all humanity and the resources are offered to anyone who can find something of value in them. They are available in printed form from the J&P Office, LACE, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA and on the Archdiocesan website at https://jp.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/resources.
The resource is available to print yourself here: https://liverpooljp.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/creation-time-complete-new-resource-sept-2019.pdf
This may be a helpful resource for parish group sharing over Zoom this year.
Reflection on Laudato Si’ during Creation Time brings to the forefront how ecological destruction harms the poorest of the poor especially, destroying habitats and therefore the livelihoods of the poor. It highlights our Christian responsibility for others and for our planet. Creation Time may feel different this year while we live with Covid, social distancing and mask wearing – and while we are aware of the health and economic hardships faced by people all over the world because of the pandemic.
What can you do individually or in your family to use less, waste less and live simply?
How can the parish community commit to learning more and to action – to fight pollution and injustice in our local communities and throughout the world?