This is the 2023 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation message: “Let Justice and Peace Flow.” Rome Reports highlighted the push by the Vatican to support policies promoting sustainable development and attentive to the poor victims of climate change. There is another aspect of this message that I would like to highlight here. With this World Day of Prayer message Pope Francis is inviting us to reflect on our “ecological sins” and transform our lifestyle from being a mindless consumer to one that cooperates with God in caring for the good of creation. “Let Justice and Peace Flow” is a quote from the Prophet Amos that uses the image of a river to press the divine agenda for justice and peace.
Let us add to the flow of this mighty river by transforming our lifestyles. Starting from grateful wonder at the Creator and his creation, let us repent of our “ecological sins”, as my brother, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has urged. These sins harm the world of nature and our fellow men and women. With the help of God’s grace, let us adopt lifestyles marked by less waste and unnecessary consumption, especially where the processes of production are toxic and unsustainable. Let us be as mindful as we can about our habits and economic decisions so that all can thrive – our fellow men and women wherever they may be, and future generations as well. Let us cooperate in God’s ongoing creation through positive choices: using resources with moderation and a joyful sobriety, disposing and recycling waste, and making greater use of available products and services that are environmentally and socially responsible.