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To Usher in “Season of Creation” Event in Zambia, Bishops Encourage Hope, Inspiration

Season of Creation 2020.

At the beginning of the worldwide month-long annual event dubbed Season of Creation during which Christians renew their interaction with God the creator and His creation, Bishops in Zambia have called on the people of God in their country to bring hope and inspiration for a better future through the safeguarding of creation.

“This Season of Creation from September 1st to October 4th is a grand opportunity to wake up the world for each of us to become beacons of hope and inspiration for a better future,” the members of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) say in their Tuesday, September 1 statement.

The global ecumenical event provides an opportunity for renewing our relationship with our Creator and all creation through repenting, repairing, and rejoicing together. This year’s event has been organized under the theme, “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”

“What kind of a world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are growing up now?” They probe in their collective statement read by ZCCB Secretary General, Fr. Cleophas Lungu who continued, “Motivated by this question, I would like to invite you to participate in the Season of Creation from 1st September to 4th October 2020.”

In the 12-minute audio posted on the ZCCB Facebook page, members of ZCCB urge Christians in the Southern African nation to unite for climate justice.

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“Together, we have the power to ignite a broad global cry for climate justice,” the members of ZCCB say, adding that “there could not have been a more important time for this action than now when the world is disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic.” 

They say that the second Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ published in 2015 has important lessons that are relevant in the context of the coronavirus pandemic that have a global impact on the people of God.  

“The Encyclical offers a vision for building a more just and sustainable world in connection with a focus on solidarity and prayerful preparation to build a better world together,” the Bishops say.  

COVID-19, the members of ZCCB say, “already has a devastating impact on all the livelihoods for vulnerable populations, particularly those who rely on informal sectors to earn a living.”

Recalling the prolonged drought in their country, they say, “The COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding at a time when the country is struggling with recent drought and flood disasters, which have resulted in increased food insecurity in more than 50 districts for the past two seasons. The climate catastrophe is increasing the risk of hunger, sickness and conflict for our most vulnerable neighbours,”

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They add, “Every minute we spend warming the planet is a tragedy in itself for the most vulnerable. Scientific analysis reveals that the pace of climate change and of mass extinctions continues to rise.”

“More ambitious commitments are urgently needed,” Bishops in Zambia say and reiterating Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’, they call on the people of God to “return to the core of who we are as Christians, people who love our neighbour as ourselves and our neighbour is not only the human being or a family near us, but also the world, the environment, the earth in which we live.” 

They add, “Pope Francis is urgently calling us to act on the values of our faith and to listen carefully to our conscience.”

“During this season of creation, I wish to renew our urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis. Let us listen to the cry of the mother earth, the cry of the poor of this world whose suffering cannot continue without our favourable response,” ZCCB members say.  

In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis reflected on this year’s theme for the Season of Creation, “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”

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Focusing on the term “Jubilee,” the Holy Father said, “In the Holy Scriptures, a Jubilee is a sacred time to remember, return, rest, restore, and rejoice.”

“A Jubilee is a time to turn back in repentance. A Jubilee is a time to return to God our loving Creator. The Jubilee season calls us to think once again of our fellow human beings, especially the poor and the most vulnerable,” the Holy Father added.

“A Jubilee is a time to set free the oppressed such as the indigenous people who face injustice and others who are subjected to various forms of modern slavery, such as trafficking in persons and child labour,” he further said.