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In 2015, Pope Francis declared September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (WDPCC), urging Catholics worldwide to pray for our common home. The theme for WDPCC this year is “Let Justice and Peace Flow”, based on Prophet Amos’ words “Let justice flow on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5:24). In the Holy Father’s message, he said that justice should be carried out wherever it is required. We should strive to be just in all circumstances and live according to God’s laws. The Pope invites us to maintain the right relationship with God, humanity and nature, so that “justice and peace to flow like a never-failing stream of pure water, nourishing humanity and all creatures.”

The Holy Father has instituted WDPCC to highlight the irresponsible actions of humanity. The impact of war has caused rivers to dry up. Consumerist greed disrupts water cycles. The uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests is causing temperatures to rise, as well as droughts. Water shortages impact both rural areas and cities. Additionally, predatory industries are degrading and contaminating freshwater sources through extreme activities such as fracking, uncontrolled mega-mining projects and intense animal farming.

As Christian communities, how can we contribute to justice, peace, and the healing of our common home during the Season of Creation?

Our first step should be to resolve and “transform our hearts, lifestyles, and public policies ruling our societies.” We must cherish the Earth as a sacred gift from our Creator rather than seeing it as an object to be exploited. Second, let us transform our lifestyles. We can start by being grateful for the Creator and His creation and “repenting of our ecological sins.” Third, we must transform the public policies that “govern our societies and shape the lives of young people today and tomorrow.”

Our neglect and ignorance in living our lives have caused great destruction not only to our world and the nature God created for us, but also to the livelihood and well-being of various people. Therefore, all of us have a responsibility to take care of the world, including our environment and everyone who lives in it.

WDPCC is a day when we collectively focus our attention on the responsibility of taking care of our planet. We are all called to be worthy caretakers of this planet, which is a precious creation of God. Let us all reflect on what we can do, in our own unique way, to protect and preserve our planet.

We should do everything in our power to live our lives in accordance with the teachings and guidance of the Lord. We must love one another and be responsible for our actions and works, always mindful of our role as stewards of all that God has created for us in our world today.

Let’s inspire each other to live more faithfully, so that more people can be called to live a life that is truly worthy of God - today and always. Lord, please plant in us a heart full of love, courage and desire to love You, and everything You have created.

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