Rome (Italy). “Let justice and peace flow” is the theme of the ecumenical Season of Creation, inspired by the words of the prophet Amos: “Let Justice and Peace flow like waters like an everlasting torrent” (5:24).
The Season of Creation begins on 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends on 4 October, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology loved by all Christian denominations. For the entire month, all the Christians of the world gather to take care of the common home. The Season of Creation is in fact a privileged time to renew one’s relationship with the Creator and with all of creation through celebration, conversion, and common action.
In the invitation to participate in the Season of Creation 2023, the symbol of the mighty river used in the logo is explained, taken from the words of the prophet Amos who cries, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5: 24). “We are called to join the river of justice and peace, to commit ourselves to climate and ecological justice, and to speak with and for the communities most affected by climate injustice and biodiversity loss”.
On the other hand, the Prophet Isaiah proclaims, “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the wilderness I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers.” (Isaiah 43:19) “We are invited to join the river of justice and peace on behalf of all creation and bring together our individual identities, whether by name, family or faith community, into this greater movement for justice, just as tributaries join to form a mighty river. As God’s People, we must work together on behalf of all creation, as part of that mighty river of peace and justice”.
In this regard, Pope Francis in hislMessage for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, asks these questions: “How can we contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace in this Season of Creation? What can we do, especially as Christian Churches, to restore our common home so that it will once again teem with life?”.
And he goes on to say, “We must decide to transform our hearts, our lifestyles, and the public policies that govern our societies.“
For the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Season of Creation is an opportunity to continue to accompany the Educating Communities on the journey towards integral ecology, as indicated in the Deliberation of the 24th General Chapter: “The Chapter Assembly allowed itself to be challenged by the cry of young people, the poor, and the earth and has decided to involve the whole Institute in a concrete and continuous process of conversion to integral ecology, taking on the seven objectives of Laudato Sì online, in the spirit of the Preventive System.”
Together with the Educating Communities, the FMA are convinced that young people have an important role in answering the Pope’s questions about “how to contribute to the great river of justice and peace”.
In this perspective, the Youth Ministry Sector launched the proposal for an online meeting aimed at young people, to celebrate the Season of Creation, with the aim of deepening the understanding of the current ecological situation in the light of the Word of God, of Salesian spirituality, of the teachings of Pope Francis and of one’s own culture.
A first moment will be carried out at the provincial level in the local Communities, giving space to the young people to reflect on the question: “How to contribute to the mighty/great river of justice and peace in the local context?” Starting from the analysis of the situation and the opportunities, strengths and challenges present, young people are invited to choose concrete actions to contribute to peace and justice in their own context.
In the local meeting, the young person who will represent the Province in the online meeting will also be chosen, in which each representative will share a situation, among the many identified in the local Communities.
In the second online meeting, by linguistic groups, the chosen young people will give suggestions on how to take care of the common home, so that it may return to its original life and beauty. The starting point for sharing and reflection remains the Message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 2023.
On the website https://seasonofcreation.org/ it is also possible to download the Guide to the Celebration of the Season of Creation, learn more about the themes, consult resources, and find out about all the scheduled events.
“In this Season of Creation, as followers of Christ on our common synodal journey, we live, work, and pray that our common home will once again abound with life” (Pope Francis).