God of all creation, your goodness and glory shine forth through everything you have made. Through the light of faith, help us to see this world, our common home, not as a resource to dominate and exploit, but as a gift to be cherished by all generations. Prompted by your Spirit, we ask this in the name of Jesus, through whom all creation was made. Amen.
Psalm 104: 24-31
R: The earth is full of your creatures, O Lord!
How varied are your works, LORD! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. R.
There is the sea, great and wide! It teems with countless beings, living things both large and small. There ships ply their course and Leviathan, whom you formed to play with. R.
All of these look to you to give them food in due time. When you give it to them, they gather; when you open your hand, they are well filled. When you hide your face, they panic. R.
Take away their breath, they perish and return to the dust. Send forth your spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the earth. R.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD be glad in his works. R.
READING FROM SCRIPTURE
(Jesus said), “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
An individual or group reflection on the scripture readings or another appropriate text, such as Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, may take place here.
Trusting that God embraces with tenderness everything that exists, let us lift up our prayers for this world, our common home, saying: “We praise you, God of all creation.”
Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. R.
Fill us with peace that we may live as sisters and brothers, harming no one. R.
Help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. R.
Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. R.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor of the earth. R.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, and be filled with awe and contemplation. R.
Enlighten us to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey toward your infinite light. R.
Other intercessions may be offered here.
God of beauty and God of truth, everything in your creation is connected, for all share a common origin in your creating hand. Fill us with a spirit of praise, gratitude, wisdom, and courage, that we might care for creation and not misuse it, ensure that its goods are shared in justice with all our brothers and sisters, and speak out on its behalf whenever it is threatened. Amen.
FROM POPE FRANCIS’ ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ – ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted. This compromises the very meaning of our struggle for the sake of the environment. It is no coincidence that, in the canticle in which Saint Francis praises God for his creatures, he goes on to say: Praised be you, my Lord, through those who give pardon to your love.” Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society. (No. 91)