Rome (Italy) From 1 September, on which the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation is celebrated, to 4 October, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Ecology, Christians are invited to experience the Time of Creation 2020, an initiative born in the ecumenical field, proposed for the first time by the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church Dimitrios I in 1989.
On the path of Laudato Sì Week, held in May 2020 under the theme: “Everything is Connected”, the Time of Creation 2020, is a month in which to renew the relationship with the Creator and all of Creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment, as an ecumenical family for our Common Home.
As Pope Francis explained in his Message of 1° September 2019, the Time of Creation is “a period of more intense prayer and action for the benefit of the common home, the time to get used to praying immersed in nature, where gratitude to God the Creator arises spontaneously, the time to reflect on our lifestyles and how our daily choices are often reckless and harmful, and also the time to undertake prophetic actions, invoking courageous choices”. It is a month in which to prepare to arouse the awareness that “Creation is a project of God’s love for humanity“.
The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light the interconnection between the condition of our planet and human life, as stated by the Episcopal Commission for Social Problems and Work, Justice, and Peace and the Episcopal Commission for ecumenism and dialogue in the
“It (the pandemic) appears, not only for health reasons not yet explained, but also as the consequence of an unsustainable relationship with the Earth. (…) In short, this emergency also refers us to the other great crisis: the environmental one, which must also be tackled with foresight. If ‘nothing will remain the same’, also in this area we must be ready for profound changes, to be faithful to our vocation as ‘guardians of creation’“.
The impact of the pandemic forces us to seriously consider the need for vigilance to ensure sustainable living conditions across the earth. Hence, the invitation addressed by the Presidents of the Council of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE), Card. Angelo Bagnasco, and of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), Rev. Christian Krieger, to celebrate the Time of Creation this year with the theme “Jubilee for the earth”: “The concept of the Jubilee is rooted in the Bible and underlines that there must be a just and sustainable balance between social, economic, and ecological realities. The lesson of the biblical jubilee shows us the need to rebalance the systems of life, affirms the need for equality, justice, and sustainability, affirms the need for a prophetic voice in defense of the human home“.
The Time of Creation also urges educational action to promote the integral development of young men and women, as the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, recalls: “Educating young people to be honest citizens also means educating them to an ecological citizenship that embraces all of creation, where they are called to be artisans of communion and peace, to feel they belong to the one human family, responsible for their actions and also the voice of creation. ” (Circ. 961)