God is the author of all creation. In the movie, The Lion King, Mufasa says to young Simba, “We are all connected in the great circle of life.” Humanity and all in the created order are now becoming more aware of our interconnection than ever before. This dependence on each other and all that is around us can be for good or ill. For example, the Pharisee reveals how humanity is linked through the practices of greed, dishonesty and adultery (Lk. 18:11). Our vices can expand not only into the killing of others but also to destroying the environment. Whether the ‘smog’ of sin or polluting of the air and water, these result in suffering for humans, animals, plants and the atmosphere. These happen when we, like the Pharisee, put ourselves in the center of the circle, effectively replacing GOD with our EGO (ease-God-out). But our connection can also be seen through the example of the tax collector, who humbly and effectively highlights God at the center where He belongs. His prayer, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13), shows a dependence on God for salvation. Our Father is the source and point of all connection in creation, which includes being ‘washed clean’ (Ps. 51) so that our souls can be as beautiful as the varied colour of flowers in our world. When we humbly acknowledge God as the source of all life, it is then that we begin to clearly understand our role as stewards of creation. God calls us to enter into a spiritual and social contact with Him and all around us. When we allow His mercy to wash away our vice, this spurs our growth in virtue, which then stirs actions to preserve life and the environment. Loving Father, You speak us into being so that we can preserve the circle of life by Your mercy and our call to love. May all that we do promote harmony, unity and life for all. Amen.