The Genesis account of creation gives a vivid description of a beautiful world teaming with creatures of all kinds. Clearly, the first account of Season of Creation was the creation story in Genesis. (Genesis 2:1-4) Today, humanity is on the verge of losing the beautiful ecosystem created by God. Sadly, the United Nations’ report released in June 2021 warns that the Planet is “rapidly reaching a ‘point’ of no return” and facing the triple threats of “biodiversity loss, climate disruption, flood and escalating pollution”. We must unite to restore the beauty of our environment.
The Season of Creation, started on 1st September and ends on 4th October; the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Ecology. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Christians will be uniting around the theme, “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.” Oikos is the Greek word for “Home” or “Household”.
Accordingly, the 2021 Season of Creation calls for prayer and action for our common home. It is a period we are all invited to reflect on the creation story. Together, the ecumenical family around the world unites to pray, protect, and advocate for God’s creation. The Church dedicates the season for a time of restoration, hope and experience of new ways of living with creation.
Pope Francis invites us to pray that everyone might make choices which promote a simple and sustainable lifestyle. We need to see Creation with eyes of wonder, with fresh eyes by caring for our environment, reverence for all that God has created including animals because we are interrelated and interconnected. The more we come to love nature in all its detail, the more we will want to care for it, because we care for the things we love.
We need to have a change of mindset. As the theme suggests, if we all have a common home, together we should work very hard to clean it, protect it, and live in Peace. Our Sister Earth now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her. The cry of the Earth is the cry of the Poor. Please let us choose to change as Pope Francis urges us.
Scientists warns that we have less than ten years to improve this dire situation. For Pope Francis, the Future starts today not tomorrow. There is no plan B because there is no Planet B. The time to act is now before it is too late.
Five ways were suggested to celebrate the Season of Creation:
1. Pray the September 1st World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
2. Attend an event.
3. Organize a Community or worship service.
4. Organize a Community action for creation.
5. Participate in an advocacy campaign.
In Nigeria, we have been celebrating this season in one or more of the ways suggested. We have continued to engage people at different levels and to unite efforts in care of creation. Beyond community prayers, awareness was created through parish bulletin, meetings with groups in parish and networking with various NGOs.
The clarion call for Climate Justice across the States in Nigeria is getting louder; we need collective efforts to deal with the urgent global ecological crisis. Consequently, States in Nigeria joined the world in marking the Season of Creation. On Friday 24th September, the Climate Walk was held in Lagos, Owerri, Akure, Anambra, Enugu, and Port Harcourt.
The Climate Walk for Climate Justice in Lagos was organized by various NGOs. All the participants gathered at Laspark Neca House, Alausa, Ikeja, and they walked down through Lagos State National Assembly to the Ministry of Environment and finally gathered at Ndubuisi Kanu Park. Fliers were distributed along the road as they walked by. It was so participatory as the people called for Climate Justice.
Be part of a group caring for the environment. Let us keep raising our voices and putting more efforts in improving ‘Our Home’ for all.
Sr. Helen Eluagu RSC