This Friday, February 2, the 2024 Season of Creation was presented with the theme "To hope and act with Creation". The annual Christian celebration is convened each year to pray and respond to the cry of Creation, between September 1st, the Feast of Creation, and October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
This year, the symbol that will guide the season is "The firstfruits of hope," inspired by Romans 8:19-25. The times we live in demonstrate that we do not relate to the Earth as a gift from our Creator, but as a resource to be used. "Creation groans" (Rom 8:22) because of our selfishness and our unsustainable actions that harm it. However, Creation teaches us that hope is present in waiting, in the expectation of a better future (cf. Rom 8:20-21).
To hope in the biblical context does not mean to remain still and silent, but to groan, to cry out, and to struggle actively for a new life in the midst of difficulties. Creation and all human beings are called to worship the Creator, working for a dynamic future from which the firstfruits of hope can spring.
In February, following the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity celebrated in the northern hemisphere, the "Preparation" stage of the ecumenical season - a stage in which ecumenical leaders meet and convene their communities to discern how to listen and respond to the cry of Creation together - begins.
Visit the SeasonOfCreation.org website, where you will find the Religious Leaders' invitation message and the available resources to be completed with the official Celebration Guide, available starting in June, after celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the southern hemisphere.