(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday marked his first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in Saint Peter’s Basilica with the celebration of a Liturgy of the Word.
Listen to Christopher Wells' report:
The liturgical celebration for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation began with the canticle from the Book of Daniel, where all of creation is called upon to praise the Lord. In addition to readings from Genesis and the Gospel of Saint Matthew, there was a reading from Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato si’, which concluded with a passage from St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun.
The homily during the liturgy was proclaimed by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher of the Pontifical Household. Father Cantalamessa focused three themes taken from the readings: “Fill the earth and subdue it”; “Whether or not to be concerned for tomorrow”; and “What Saint Francis can teach us.”
Caring for creation does not mean “dominating” the world we live in, but caring for it as God the Father cares for His creation. Jesus words from the Gospel – “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” – do not imply a lack of concern for the future. They say, he said, do not worry about your future, but worry about the future of those who come after you. Finally, Saint Francis of Assisi gives us “living proof of the contribution that faith in God can give to the common effort to care for and protect the environment.”
Pope Francis concluded the Liturgy with a blessing: May your blessing act in us, O Lord, and transform us with your renewing power, so that we might be wholly disposed to the service of what is good.