Friday 18th March
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus Isaiah 35:1
You Lord, are the source of all good things:
We praise you.
You call us to tend and care for your creation:
May we strive to do your will.
You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives:
May we live together in peace.
A Reading: Daniel 4: 10-12
Upon my bed this is what I saw; there was a tree at the centre of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew great and strong, its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth. Its foliage was beautiful, its fruit abundant, and it provided food for all. The animals of the field found shade under it, the birds of the air nested in its branches, and from it all living beings were fed.
Each Friday during Lent we will focus on a different continent; this week South America. South America, the fourth-largest continent, extends from the Gulf of Darién in the northwest to the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego in the south. South America can be divided into three physical regions: mountains and highlands, river basins, and coastal plains. Mountains and coastal plains generally run in a north-south direction, while highlands and river basins generally run in an east-west direction.
South America’s extreme geographic variation contributes to the continent’s large number of biomes. A biome is a community of animals and plants that spreads over an area with a relatively uniform climate. Within a few hundred kilometres, South America’s coastal plains’ dry desert biome rises to the rugged alpine biome of the Andes mountains. One of the continent’s river basins (the Amazon) is defined by dense, tropical rain forest, while the other (Paraná) is made up of vast grasslands.
The diversity of animal life in the Amazon rain forest is unsurpassed in the rest of the world. There can be as many as 100 different tree species on a single acre. The rain forest is perfectly suited for arboreal, or tree-living, animals. More than 2 million species of insects are native to the region, including hundreds of spiders and butterflies. Primates are abundant—howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and capuchin monkeys—along with sloths, snakes, and iguanas. Thousands of native birds include brightly coloured macaws, parrots, toucans, and parakeets. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/south-america-physical-geography/
Glory to God
Creator of rivers and oceans:
We praise you for the Amazon, 1725 miles long!
Glory to God,
Creator of mountains and valleys:
We praise you for the Amazon Basin, all 2.7 million squares miles.
Glory to God,
Creator of trees and plants:
We praise you for the 40,000 plants species of the Amazon.
We praise you for biome that supports 350 millions tonnes of life per square kilometre.
Glory to God,
Creator of all that crawls and swims and flies.
We praise you for wildlife of the Amazon –
2 million species of insect, 2000 birds and mammals, 800 amphibians and reptiles.
Creator of human kind,
Forgive us for the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest, 18% lost and counting.
Forgive our greed that replaces trees with cattle ranches, with soy crops for their fodder.
Forgive our greed that replaces trees with sugar cane, for sweetmeats and bio fuel.
Creator of air and space,
Forgive our foolishness in destroying the source of 20% of the world’s oxygen.
Forgive our greed that gobbles up the living space of others, endangering survival of jaguars and blue macaws, poison dart frogs and river dolphins.
Creator of climates and seasons,
Forgive our foolishness that creates droughts and heat waves.
Forgive our greed that fills the air with carbon dioxide and destroys carbon sinks.
Source of all wisdom,
Transform our hearts and minds, turn the direction our hands and feet
so that with alacrity and commitment we will reform our lives
and live only in harmony with your creation.