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Prayer for the World April 24, 2024

Earth Day/Earth Month

Introduction

Though we officially celebrate Earth Day on April 22, it is important to remember that we are called to be mindful that every day is Earth Day. The theme of Earth Day 2024 is  'Planet vs. Plastics.'  With this theme, the aim is to reduce plastic dependency and make the earth plastic-free.


Song: Sacred the Land by Rufino Zaragoza


Sacred the Land, sacred the water, sacred the sky, holy and true.

Sacred all life, sacred each other; all reflect God who is good.

 

All praise be yours through Brother Sun, bearing a likeness of You, Most High One.

Sister Moon and Stars who are precious, splendid, ride your glorious sky.  (Refrain)

 

Brother Wind and Air that pervades, vary their moods to sustain all you made.

Sister Water, useful and pure, lowly, freely sharing her life.  (Refrain)

 

Reading (from Pastor’s message in bulletin, Assumption Parish, Chicago)


Because plastic does not occur in nature, it does not decompose the way other discards do. Plastics take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose. It is estimated that a disposable diaper will be around for 500 years; a plastic water bottle for 450 years; a sandwich bag for 20 years; and a Styrofoam cup for 500 years.


Millions of tons of plastic end up in our oceans. On top of that, plastic comes from petroleum. Producing plastics emits up to 213 million metric tons of greenhouse gases — a major source of global warming — each year.


Finally, with all this plastic in our lives, we (along with other creatures) are ingesting tiny particles of plastic in the air and water, which is not natural for our bodies either. When we drink from those ubiquitous plastic water bottles, we ingest twice as much plastic than when we drink a glass of tap water from a glass.


We are producing more and more plastic. In 1950, we produced 2 million metric tons worldwide. Between 2010 and 2020, we went from 270 million tons to almost 370 million tons. At the present rate we will be at 590 million tons by 2050. Convenience and low cost come at a price, a price that we may not be able to pay in the future.


That is why as we approach Earth Day 2024 (April 22), plastic has become a focal point of the environmental movement. Almost 10 years ago in Laudato Si', Pope Francis broke new ground when he declared care of creation a moral issue. His point is that "everything is connected."

 

So let us re-commit to look for alternatives to plastic thus reducing our use of plastic and re-use the plastic we have.  Recyling is a last resort since it is largely suspected that most of the recycled plastic ends up in our oceans and landfills, endangering humans and all living creatures. 

 

Silent Reflection

 

Focus for Our Prayer: Ecology Examen from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph


  • We give thanks to God through whom with whom and in whom all creation is wonderfully made.  Where did we experience God’s presence in creation today?

  • We ask for the grace to experience creation as God does in all its interconnection and union, its splendor and suffering.  Where and how do I see the beauty of creation?  Where and how do I see and hear the cries of Earth and all who are poor?

  • We ask for the grace to look closely to see how our life choices affect creation and all who are poor and vulnerable.  What challenges or joys do I experience as I recall my care for creation?  How can I turn away from a throwaway culture and stand in solidarity with creation and all who experience poverty?

  • We ask for the grace to reconcile our relationship with God and all of creation and to stand in solidarity through our prayer and actions.  How am I being called to repair my relationship with creation and make choices consistent with my desire to be one with the whole of creation?

We offer our prayer for Earth and all who are vulnerable.  Considering all we have reflected on how can my prayer support efforts for a better world?

 

Silent Reflection

 

Song

 

Silent Reflection

 

Song: Sacred the Land by Rufino Zaragoza

 

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