Traditionally Harvest festival is held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. The equinox this year is Monday 23rd September. Thank you to all those who have donated food as part of our display around the altar. This will be distributed to those in need. We are having fun things in the Hall after the 9:30am Mass this Sunday to celebrate harvest.
This is our opportunity to give thanks to God for the blessing of the produce of the land that feeds and nourishes us. But also we need to reconsider the ways we use and care for the land. We know that we cannot use this earth for our wellbeing alone but need to care and look after what has been entrusted to us by God. As I write (Friday) there are climate change protests in major cities throughout the world. The demand is for immediate ambitious change. Pope Francis three years ago wrote a wonderful encyclical Letter “Laudato Si” on care for our common home. In it he says that climate change “ is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades.” He says that “we are called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”
Before the summer some of us watched and discussed the film “Global Healing” and we began to think about ways we are individuals, families and a parish can change our lifestyle to help the healing of the planet. I believe this needs to continue. There are many good ideas on the CAFOD ( the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales) website Catholic international development charity | CAFOD;
Let us also pray a prayer written by Pope Francis:
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty,
not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognise that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.