Dear sisters and brothers,
Today is the annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday. The reflection for this Sunday was written by Bishop Joe Oudemann, Auxillary Bishop in Brisbane:
It is a long standing tradition that the first Sunday of July is dedicated to our Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander brothers and sisters. May we be one in mind and heart with them as we listen to today’s living Word in the Scriptures. Firstly, let us remember and acknowledge again that for thousands of years before the arrival of Western settlers, the sole inhabitants of this vast land were Indigenous peoples: the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. In a real sense the settlers were invaders in this land which was named “terra nullius”, the land which was deemed to belong to no one! Many injustices and atrocities have been committed against the Indigenous people of the land since. A National Apology to the Stolen Generations by the Prime Minister on February 13 2008 was indeed an historic and hope-filled moment for Australia. The then president of the Australian Bishops Conference, Archbishop Wilson, said in his Statement: “Today is a great day in the history of our Nation, because it represents a much longed-for point of arrival. But it must not end there. For true healing to take place we must also acknowledge that this National Apology is a point not only of arrival, but a point of hope and a point of departure.” The journey and process is one of reconciliation and healing. The challenge of reconciliation and bringing healing requires fortitude, wisdom and patience. The Gospel reading of St. Luke sends us all out to mission and visit the towns and places Jesus himself would be visiting. There are all kinds of instructions for the disciples about trust in God’s presence and providence, and about being and remaining a person of peace, hospitality and respect, which is all contained in the Jewish greeting: “Shalom”. Also is mentioned the need to bring healing and to reassure everyone that the Kingdom of God is near. Let me finish with our Responsorial psalm of today: “let the earth cry out to God with joy!” Ah! Mother Earth! Crying out to God with joy! It is same kind of joy and gratitude which mark the words of Pope Francis, in his pastoral letter Laudato si, where he speaks of our common home and the responsibilities we all have to look after our “mother” and the incredible variety of “offspring”! And where he speaks of its beauty and the interconnectedness of everything! Yes, the Kingdom of God is very near. But we need eyes to see. We need ears to hear. We need hearts to treasure. We need hands to put to the plough, and to sow good seeds, as we live and work in hope toward a rich harvest.
|Jul 8, 2016||14 Sunday in Ordinary Time 03.07.2016||Listen||Download|