Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Tuesday, 25 September 2018 17:34
LITURGY NOTES FOR THE TWENTY SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
September 30th 2018
Social Justice Sunday
Theme: A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land
Suggested formula for recognition of indigenous people and their land.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land where we are now gathered,
(the ……) and recognise that it continues to be sacred to them.
We hail them: as guardians of the earth and of all things that grow and breed in the soil; as trustees of the waters – [the seas, the streams and rivers, the ponds and the lakes] - and the rich variety of life in those waters.
We thank them for passing this heritage to every people since the Dreamtime.
We acknowledge the wrongs done to them by newcomers to this land and we seek to be partners with them in righting these wrongs and in living together in peace and harmony.
As we do this, we must also acknowledge the loss of their hunting grounds,
the destruction of their ceremonial places and sacred sites,
the great loss of life from all kinds of violence and disease,
and that the land was never given away.
Taken from www.nonviolenceinternational.net
The convenience of silence is as evil as the greatest crime.
‘Who is not against us if for us’
Numbers 11:25-29 Moses’ response to those who are jealous of other prophets
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14 The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
James 5:1-6 Hard teaching for the rich
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 Jesus’ response to the jealous disciples
- Christ Jesus, you are the Word of God who speaks in our hearts: Jesus, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, we are often too busy or distracted to hear you: Christ, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you have the power to quiet our minds and open our hearts, Jesus, have mercy.
- The Spirit of Jesus blows where it wants; it inspires and moves many. Jesus, have mercy.
- The Spirit of Jesus generously pours out its gifts on whoever is open to the breath of life. Christ, have mercy.
- The Spirit of Jesus gives wisdom and insight when and where it is least expected. Jesus, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you open the boundaries of our minds and hearts. Jesus, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you open our eyes to people we can often miss. Christ, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you open our minds to the beauty in other people Jesus, have mercy.
God of love and peace,
pour out on us and on all people
the life-giving Spirit of your Son.
May our minds be opened so that
we may see your beauty and truth
in an ever-new light.
May our hearts be opened
o that we may receive daily the spirit of courage
and to love others with reverence and respect.
Prayers of the Faithful
Celebrant: We pray to the God of all people, that our hearts will be open to Jesus’ message of justice and compassion and that we will be inspired to welcome and support our sisters and brothers who endure poverty and homelessness in our society today.
- We pray for the First Peoples of our land who have lost not only their homes but also their land and culture that all Australians will acknowledge the harm done to them through the generations and work together with him by listening to them and being in solidarity with them in their future, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for the peoples of the Asia Pacific region who have suffered the loss of homes, livelihood and loved ones in the recent typhoon Mangkhut and are paying the price of our obsession with fossil fuels, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for all people who struggle to meet the costs of housing and live in the shadow of homelessness, and that the abundance of our nation’s wealth will be shared to ensure that all can find a place to call home, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray that political leaders who should govern for the common good of our nation, that a spirit of justice and compassion will urge them on to address homelessness and other injustices in our society as well as ensuring that all people and nations have a just share in the riches of this earth we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray that our faith community will embrace people who live with poverty and exclusion so that they will find welcome, belonging and assistance in their time of need, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for our beautiful earth: may we look upon it as our home and look upon it with love and respect as we would our neighbour, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for all here present: may we all persevere in witnessing to the magnificence of God's love for us by acting justly and being agents of hope and peace, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for the youth in our church and in our communities: may we all recognize the gifts in each other so that the good news of justice and peace will be proclaimed in word and concrete action, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for young people everywhere who experience deprivation and prejudice in Australia and overseas: may those who live with mental illness, those young people who are exploited for sex or labour; those who live in remote areas, or live with mental illness or struggle with their sexuality, find freedom, guidance and peace, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq: may we who follow the nonviolent Jesus strive to bring an end to the wars that have ravaged these countries for so long, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for our church: for the humility to seek the truth; for the courage to speak the truth; and for the grace to live that truth each day, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We prayer for the Church we love: that it may bring forgiveness and love to all, welcome all, care for all, inspire all with the gentle power of the Spirit, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for people who are persecuted for their faith: we remember especially Christians in the Middle East and Pakistan, may they be strengthened in their mutual support of each other and of our prayers and thoughts, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for people who are made to be outcast, victims of discrimination, people exploited and trafficked, may they find in others security, the safety of home and justice for their plight we pray, .
- We pray for cooperation among Christians in the work of ministry to the poor, to young people, to those who have little voice in the affairs of the world, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for peaceful solutions to conflicts among nations, within communities and families, between friends, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for solutions to the economic struggle throughout the world: for a just distribution of the world’s goods; for fair treatment of workers; for basic human rights for all people everywhere, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for our own community: for an end to all that divides us; for the courage to reject all unjust discrimination; for a spirit of cooperation as we face the problems of our community, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
- We pray for those who are sick: for those who are elderly or infirm; for those who live with chronic pain or fatigue; for those who feel less valued because they cannot keep up with others, we pray: May your Word makes find a home in our lives.
Concluding Prayer: Loving and faithful God, hear the prayers of your people today. Join our prayers with people everywhere who struggle and pray for the well-being of the poor, the protection of the innocent, the comfort of the suffering.
Prayer over the Gifts
God of love and peace,
you invite us to eat the meal of communion and peace.
Pour out upon us the Spirit of Christ Jesus,
that we may all be one and cooperate with all people of good will
to stand up with courage for freedom and justice everywhere.
Prayer after Communion
God of love and peace,
you send us out into the world
by the strength of the Holy Spirit
given us in this Eucharist.
May that Spirit come upon all
and lead us towards a reign among us of integrity, truth and love.
September 30 Social Justice Sunday
Theme: A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land
- Social Justice Statement 2018-19 (PDF and Word)
- Summary PDF Word
- Letter from Archbishop Coleridge PDF
- Liturgy Notes Word
- Community Education Resource (PDF and Word)
- Media Statement (Word)
- Prayer card
- Ten Steps (PDF and Word)
- PowerPoint (right click the link on the mouse and click 'save link as')
- Launch Addresses
People try nonviolence for a week, and when it 'doesn't work' they go back to violence, which hasn't worked for centuries.
‘Immigrants dying at sea, in boats which were vehicles of hope and became vehicles of death. That is how the headlines put it. When I first heard of this tragedy a few weeks ago, and realised that it happens all too frequently, it has constantly come back to me like a painful thorn in my heart …
‘These brothers and sisters of ours were trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace; they were looking for a better place for themselves and their families, but instead they found death. How often do such people fail to find understanding, fail to find acceptance, fail to find solidarity. And their cry rises up to God! …
‘Has any one of us wept for these persons who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who were looking for a means of supporting their families? We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion – ‘suffering with’ others: the globalisation of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep!’‘
Pope Francis at Lampedusa
Prayer for trafficked persons
God of justice, pour your mercy on the tens of millions of victims and survivors of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, many trapped in the cycle of poverty. We ask that you would restore them to wholeness and to freedom, that you would restore to them a fullness of life and of identity as children of God. We ask also that those who perpetrate such crimes would be brought to justice. Give us the boldness to speak out on behalf of those who have no voice, and the courage to act where the need arises.
Praise Women Leaders
Praise to you, women leaders of the seven continents, for your many works of justice.
Praise to you, women leaders of Asia, for confronting trafficking of women.
Praise to you, women leaders of Africa, for raising your voices to stop AIDS.
Praise to you, women leaders of Europe, for your peacekeeping.
Praise to you, women leaders of North America, for confronting economic inequities and racism.
Praise to you, women leaders of South America, for struggling against U.S. domination of your land.
Praise to you, women leaders in Antarctica, for your scientific research.
Praise to you, women leaders of Australia, for supporting indigenous cultures.
Diann L. Neu
The hunger for God can only be satisfied by a love that is face to face, person to person. It is only in the eyes of another that we can find the Icon of Christ. We must make the other person aware we love him. If we do, he will know that God loves him. He will never hunger again.
Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Catholic social activist and founder of Madonna House (1896-1985)
The only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have far to drop, you do not have much to lose.
Walking into nature and ourselves
Walking is an endless school of mysteries and magic; its instructors, the forces of nature, the energy of animals and trees. It is the truest form of movement that we have been given, an expression of our lives and a way to experience the sacred places on Earth and the spiritual wonders of the wild. Through walking we can look at our lives and our place in the grand scheme with new eyes while in communion with everything surrounding us.
James Endredy Earthwalks for Body and Spirit.
We are not asked to love the neighbour as neighbour, but as ourselves.
Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala, India
Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his religion. Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
Tecumseh, (1768-1813) Shawnee Chief
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.
Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Nobel Prize 1921
……. in America, we have achieved the Orwellian prediction - enslaved, the people have been programmed to love their bondage and are left to clutch only mirage-like images of freedom, its fables and fictions. The new slaves are linked together by vast electronic chains of television that imprison not their bodies but their minds. Their desires are programmed, their tastes manipulated, their values set for them.
Gerry Spence From Freedom to Slavery.
The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.
Aldous Huxley, English novelist and critic, 1894-1963
grant us the courage to reach across borders
so we form alliances
with all your people of goodwill.
strengthen us to work
for the restoration of the whole of creation. Amen.
Reflections on the readings
It seems that a clear message in today’s readings is Jesus’ anger towards people who take up positions of leadership and abuse that power. We see clearly where Jesus stands and whom he stands with. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mk 9:42) So many people have seen the failings of church leaders and leaders in other institutions, and been turned off. Of concern are those who have not been turned off! James refers to the judgement that awaits anyone who acts unjustly and abuses their power. The unjust treatment of people by those in power and with wealth was a problem in the ancient world as it is today. James paints an unpleasant picture of the wealthy hoarding countless riches and an environment where self-indulgence and pleasure have been the dominant driving forces. Self-gratification with little thought given to others - especially the exploited poor - is their primary objective in life. Though forgiveness is possible, it must also mean justice for victims. It calls for a deep conversion in each of us and a demand for institutional reform. It begins by uprooting all forms of clericalism which gives rise to injustice.
In the face of toxic religion, toxic politics and toxic economics, there has to be hope of redemption. God is still among us. The reign of God is among us. We are reminded that the Spirit blows wherever it likes. No official stamp of approval is required- even from those in the hierarchy.
In the reading Numbers, the Elders were scandalised that Eldad and Medad received the Spirit of prophesy(Nm 11:26). They were filled with the Spirit even though they did not go to the up the mountain and participate in the rituals. They stayed with the people, in the messy camp, and shared the Spirit there.
A similar theme occurs in the reading from Mark. The disciples were scandalised that some outsiders were casting out casting out demons in Jesus’ name and doing good works. Jesus’ response was, “For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mk 9:40). He implies that what matters is the works – the good works – not the badge one is wearing. One could on a roll here with the treatment of, and neglect of, women in the church!
The Spirit is present in many people and places – in the churches and in the wider world. Despite abuses and scandals, pain and suffering, we can also, if we care to look and listen, see green shoots emerge. They can emerge from the grassroots in surprising places. People are still doing the ‘gospel things’ as they always have with people on the periphery of the Church and non-church groups. That Spirit still calls us into every deeper truth, a thirst for justice and beauty and goodness.
We should not be surprised whom God uses in our world. God can call those we may disregard to carry out God’s reign of compassion and justice. To reject these might mean rejecting ourselves. We are all called to embrace the role of prophet – to listen to the crises of the poor and together response to change systems that oppress. These are the challenges in readings before us. No one person or group enjoys a monopoly on the Spirit.
Jesus did not divide people into believers and atheists. He tried to broaden the horizons and open the hearts of his disciples by encouraging them to look beyond the boundaries they had set for themselves and for him. They needed to understand that they were part of a community called together by God. And, if God called them to follow Jesus – why not others? Those who show hospitality to the needy understand the Reign of God. Such actions subvert systems based on exploitation of the weak by the powerful. Jesus is always present! We are asked to look around at our world and see that who we are and what we do matters. We need to look to ourselves and pray for the ability to respond in new ways to God’s call to follow and that following is recognising others on the journey who are not like us. Many people settle for being ‘reasonable’ Christians who might go through life marked neither by great holiness or profound sinfulness. Jesus came to disturb us and show us there can be no compromise with injustice. If we are truly to follow him, we say ‘I’ll stand injustice no longer’ [E.M. Forster, Howard’s End].
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2018 challenges us to bring God’s vision to the fore. At every level people are at work to bring peace and healing with justice. War continues. The environment is tormented. Whilst refugees and asylum seekers in staggering numbers keep knocking at the doors of our nations in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia and the response often is ‘no no no’ we have people in this country who have no place to call home as outlined in the Social Justice Statement for 2018. Census figures show that over 116,000 people are homeless in this rich and well-resourced nation. This is unacceptable and as one of the speakers at the launch of the Statement said: ‘We are a country in denial!’ It is about profits before people! The costs of rents and mortgages are astronomical and housing services are unable to meet the demand. Finding secure housing for some groups is a great challenge which can take a great toll on social wellbeing and mental health.
The Statement provides example of individual people who go out of their way to assist sisters and brothers in great need as well as agencies and charities that try to offer shelter, safety and care. One among many is the Cana community which has never accepted government funding but provides shelter, friendship, safety, rehabilitation and advocacy for people with the least options. Pope Francis has reminded us forcefully of the rights of people experiencing homelessness around the world. The Statement by the Bishops focuses especially on those in our society who are most vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness. It reminds us that Catholic social teaching and the Declaration of Human Rights insist that safe and secure housing is a human right. It is the inherent dignity of each brother and sister in need of a place to call home that urges us on to confront the growing challenge of homelessness and housing insecurity in Australia.
We cannot look dispassionately and with indifference as Pope Francis has said at injustice around us, nor can we ignore the witness that people outside our institutions, our churches, or clans are also offering. We can all witness to justice work to end exploitation and abuse for the transformation of the world – especially the little corner of the world we live in. We must remember that the same Spirit that works in us also works in all who do good by acting justly and loving tenderly. In the gospel, Jesus, whose heart beats for all people, tells us to be open-minded and to recognise the good there is in people and what they do, whoever they are. We have been given the statistics about people living rough, room surfing or plainly homeless. We do not see their faces and are not told their names. But each of these statistics has a face, had dreams and hopes. Basically, they have a story which cannot be rejected or neglected. And even if we cannot do much, we can get to know some of them – not just by throwing a coin at them but greeting them as a human person.
Moses and Jesus direct our attention beyond petty turf wars to what needs to be done and the necessity for a Spirit of cooperation with others who do it differently. Wise discipleship includes knowing what to welcome and what to renounce. Last week we saw how the disciples argued about who among them was the greatest. Jesus commanded them to be servants and to welcome the powerless (a child) as they would welcome Jesus himself. We, and our leaders, must be prepared to hear something different, to hear the voice of the Spirit that comes from the edges of the church and society – from young people, Indigenous people, women, gay people, the poor, the refugee person, Moslems and Jews. God's word comes not just from within the institutional church, not just within our own community of disciples, but even beyond that, from outsiders if you will. Even their very presence powerfully proclaim God’s word about justice. And to do justice is to show respect by listening to people who know injustice in their lives and to insist on seeing things from point of view. Doing justice depends, not on telling people what to do, but upon listening to them and then asking them what they believe needs to be done, to find out what they are already doing. It is amazing the number of groups that are dedicated to bringing change and wellbeing to people in our community and not only from Christian circles but also Jewish and Islamic and of no professed faith. Jesus challenges his disciples for their behaviour because it impedes their ability to listen to peoples’ cries for mercy, for justice, for peace. Many of these people do not need to be taught or told what to do so much as to be heard, trusted and respected. They all, because of their experiences, have a truth to tell us.
Pope Francis and also the Social Justice Statement is reminding us again that we are all in this together and that we can all be a means to give life, compassion and bring peace through justice to our world. It does not happen with boundaries or fences. Are we prepared to work together to live into God’s vision of the New Creation by sharing life in the midst of our relationships? Or are we content to do it all by ourselves?