MANILA, Sept. 1, 2013—At the onset of the Archdiocese of Manila’s celebration of the Season of Creation, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Saturday reminded Filipinos to be more active in protecting and preserving the environment for the benefit of future generations to come. 

“I hope that by the end of this campaign, we would be able to realize that stewardship is a vital part of spirituality and discipleship,” he said in his homily during the program’s launch held at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco. 

The Season of Creation, an ecological campaign to be participated by different parishes and schools within the archdiocese, emphasizes the importance of the environment through various liturgical, catechetical, and religious initiatives. It will run from September 1 to October 6. 

Among the proposed activities for the campaign are the inclusion of creation spirituality in liturgies, various multi-media activities, living rosary, environmental symposia and film showing, organic market and tree planting activities. 

Stewards of creation 

The Season of Creation, which serves as the archdiocese’s response to the call made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’s (CBCP) on environmental protection 10 years ago, aims to recognize and praise the Lord as the God of Creation. 

Tagle emphasized the importance of all beings created by the Divine—from the smallest up to the largest organism—noting that each of them, being created in the image and likeness of Christ, is imbued with a special meaning and purpose.  

“Everything that God created has a special meaning and purpose. There is nothing created to be meaningless or aimless. Since God created everything through and for Jesus Christ, each of them fulfills a special purpose here on Earth,” he said in Filipino. 

Humans are regarded as the prime beings of God’s creation, and for the reason that both men and women are created in His image and likeness, equality must reign between them, Tagle said. 

“We have to push for the equality of all mankind. A person’s character is never measured by wealth and riches, educational background, or even physical attributes. The very reason that you are created in His image and likeness is enough to show that you are honorable and dignified,” he said. 

Tagle reminded the faithful of their role as stewards of God’s creation, emphasizing that they are not owners who could rule over what was created. 

“We have to be reminded that we are mere stewards of creation. God created them and He is the rightful owner of everything,” he said, noting that humans must strive to be worthy stewards of God’s creation. 

The vocation of stewardship calls for the proper discernment of God’s will over His creation, Tagle noted. 

“We are trusted by the Lord to take care and nurture His creation in accordance to His thoughts and plans. Because of this, we have to discern and scrutinize His will over His creation,” he said, urging people to avoid thoughts and actions that are unbecoming of a steward.  (Jennifer Orillaza)