September 25, 2022, Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Liturgy: Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (16:19-31).
Reflection by Finbarr Keaveney, from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference Sunday Liturgy Notes for SOC 2022:
In today’s Gospel the rich man fails to hear the Cry of the Poor and misses the opportunity to help the poor man Lazarus. On this 4th week of the Season of Creation we remember that the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of the Earth are inextricably linked. In “Laudato Si” Pope Francis tells us: “the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters” (LS2).
When we, the rich nations, abuse Mother Earth and her resources it is the poor nations who are disproportionately affected and who suffer the most. Pope Francis has said that “Contemplation is the antidote to misuse of our Common Home.” (September 16, 2020, General Audience). We start here. Take some quiet time to slow down every day to feel, experience and connect with the Awe and Wonder of the Natural World. Paying attention to, and caring for, the plants and wildlife that live around us is a form of prayer, a communion with God through the Earth.
Take a contemplative walk in a forest or by the sea and take in the view with your eyes. Take a dip in the sea or go for a barefoot walk in the sand or the grass and feel the sensations through your body. Sit in your garden or in a park and smell the flowers and listen to the bees hum and the birds sing. Download an App to your smart phone to help you identify the plants that surround you or the species of birds singing in the trees beside you. Listen to the voice of creation. (…)
Pope Francis urges us to undergo an Ecological Conversion. That is a “transformation of hearts and minds toward greater love of God, each other, and creation. It is a process of acknowledging our contribution to the social and ecological crisis and acting in ways that nurture communion: healing and renewing our common home.” (Laudato Si’ Movement) Let us listen out for the Voice of Creation every day and let us play our part in the protection and the restoration of Our Common Home.