Jubilee for the Earth

Today we begin our annual celebration of the Season of Creation. The Season of Creation is celebrated around the world and in many faith traditions. The season begins on September 1, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, who is the patron saint of ecology in many traditions. 

The ecumenical steering committee that plans and promotes the season each year put it this way: 

“The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.” 

Each year, the ecumenical steering committee also suggests a theme. The 2020 theme is Jubilee for the Earth 

Climate change is a result of the intersection of greed, inequality, and destruction of God’s Earth. The theme of Jubilee is chosen for this year’s Season of Creation as it reflects those three interlocking themes. Jubilee is a time to renounce overconsumption and economic systems based on constant economic growth at the cost of the Earth and those who are poor. Jubilee is a time when those who have consumed the most must make restitution to those who have suffered the most. Jubilee is a time of rest for the land from constant exploitation to restore ecosystems and people.  

The concept of Jubilee is rooted in the holy wisdom that there must exist a just and sustainable balance between social, economic, and ecological realities. When one variable is exploited to maximize growth of another, the whole system will eventually suffer. When one part of the Earth community is stressed, every part is affected. In 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic demonstrated this reality on a global scale. While the experience of living with the COVID-19 outbreak points back to this need to maintain justice, the lessons that we learn may point us towards the need for a Jubilee and motivate us to restore balance to the very systems that sustain life. 

We invite you to join us in prayer and contemplation. Below are links to several resources to support that “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” (Laudato Si’ 217) 

Follow us on social medial and visit our website as we update and add resources through this season. Pope Francis wrote, “Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.” (Laudato Si 12) 

May gladness and praise fill your heart as you enjoy this special season.  

    

    

    

   

Season of Creation 2020 Prayer

Creator of Life,

At Your word, the Earth brought forth plants yielding seed and trees of every kind
bearing fruit. The rivers, mountains, minerals, seas and forests sustained life. The
eyes of all looked to You to satisfy the needs of every living thing. And throughout
time the Earth has sustained life. Through the planetary cycles of days and seasons,
renewal and growth, you open your hand to give creatures our food in the proper
time.

In your Wisdom, you granted a Sabbath; a blessed time to rest in gratitude for all
that you have given; a time to liberate ourselves from vicious consumption; a time to
allow the land and all creatures to rest from the burden of production. But these
days our living pushes the planet beyond its limits. Our demands for growth, and our
never-ending cycle of production and consumption are exhausting our world. The
forests are leached, the topsoil erodes, the fields fail, the deserts advance, the seas
acidify, the storms intensify. We have not allowed the land to observe her Sabbath,
and the Earth is struggling to be renewed.

During this Season of Creation, we ask you to grant us courage to observe a Sabbath
for our planet. Strengthen us with the faith to trust in your providence. Inspire us
with the creativity to share what we have been given. Teach us to be satisfied with
enough. And as we proclaim a Jubilee for the Earth, send Your Holy Spirit to renew
the face of creation.

In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus
Christ. 

Amen

   

   

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