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Walking among bluebells in London’s Epping Forest (USCCB/Toby Melville, Reuters)

Being obedient to God’s commandment and spirit of love can radically change attitudes and actions to convert people from “predators” of natural resources to “tillers” of God’s great garden of planet Earth, Pope Francis says in his message for the 2024 the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Source: CNS.

“The earth is entrusted to our care, yet continues to belong to God,” according to Judeo-Christian tradition, the Pope says in his message.

“To claim the right to possess and dominate nature, manipulating it at will, thus represents a form of idolatry, a Promethean version of humanity who, intoxicated by its technocratic power, arrogantly places the earth in a ‘dis-graced’ condition, deprived of God’s grace,” he wrote in his message, which was released by the Vatican last week.

The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which will be celebrated on September 1, marks the start of the ecumenical Season of Creation. The season concludes on October 4, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology.

The theme for 2024 is “Hope and Act with Creation,” based on St Paul’s Letter to the Romans (8:19-25), in which the apostle considers the destiny of the created world as it shares in the penalty of corruption brought about by sin, concluding that creation will share in the benefits of redemption and future glory that comprise the ultimate liberation of God’s people.

“Why is there so much evil in the world? Why so much injustice, so many fratricidal wars that kill children, destroy cities, pollute the environment and leave Mother Earth violated and devastated?” the Pope said in his message.

“Creation itself, like humanity, was enslaved, albeit through no fault of its own, and finds itself unable to fulfill the lasting meaning and purpose for which it was designed,” he wrote, reflecting on St Paul’s letter. “It is subject to dissolution and death, aggravated by the human abuse of nature.”

At the same time, St Paul saw that “the salvation of humanity in Christ is a sure hope also for creation,” which will be “set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God,” he wrote.


Creation is God’s gift for humanity to steward, not prey upon, Pope says (By Carol Glatz, CNS)


Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue (Vatican News)