Homily – September 6, 2020

God made his prophet Ezekiel the watchman of the house of Israel. A watchman always takes up a position on a high place so that can see from a distance and warn the people of approaching dangers so they can prepare to defend themselves.

Our watchmen today as we deal with Covid 19 and our environmental crisis are our scientists and environmentalists. They both try to alert us to our present life situations. We ignore our watchmen to our own peril.

As catholic men and women our watchman is Pope Francis. Following the example of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Francis has declared a Season of Creation stretching from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4th asking the world’s 2.2 billion Christians to find time to pause and pray for the healing of Earth and ask guidance as we work to change our lifestyles which have a devastating impact on the life systems of Earth. We are called to live simply on Earth, live simply that others may simply live.

Covid 19 has brought the world to a stand-still. It spread around the world due to our lifestyle of easy travelling; we can jet around the world carrying disease with us. We are still at its mercy. Millions are afflicted and hundreds of thousands have died. We still don’t know the lasting effects of the virus.

As Pope Francis reminds us that this plague made us realize how unjust financial systems created the environment for the spread of diseases. Our lives are so fragile and we are so vulnerable before the virus,” The Holy Father reminds us that the pandemic also became an opportunity for us to joins hands to defend lives and ensure that we do not fall victims of the virus. It is also an opportunity for a new form of solidarity among peoples to emerge.”

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in our societies and our own fragility. In doing so, it has underscored our interdependence with one another and with the Earth’s ecosystems.

As you’ve heard me say many times’ the Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth and what we do to the Earth we do to ourselves. We did not weave the web of life; we belong to the web and what we do to the web we do to ourselves. What goes around comes around.

This Season of Creation, Sept. 1st til Oct.4th, the feast of St. Francis, is a time for a renewal of a deeper awareness of our relationship with all of God’s good creation, a time for us to reflect on how to responsibly use rather than exploit the planet’s finite resources and pray for healing for ourselves and for the world, and to make a commitment to living more lightly upon the Earth.

Pope Francis reminds us that healing the planet isn’t an elitist vocation that ignores issues of justice and marginalization. Church teaching makes clear that it’s all one struggle. The broad concept of “climate justice” challenges us to make real in every community the abundance of life promised in the Gospels. “In an interconnected world, we experience what it means to live in the same ‘global village.’ It’s a beautiful expression — the world is nothing other than a global village because everything is interconnected,” the pope said.

We’ve all heard of the concept of mindfulness, that we be aware and conscious of our present situation, the challenges and the possibilities of our present moment.

During this as we can pray for each other that be open to this time of reflection and prayer that is our during these days of the season of creation and even beyond Oct.4. We can all be watchman over our lifestyles and their impact of the health and healing of Earth.