Jesus I know is no cold, hard Iron-Christ; nor does Jesus
deserve to be reduced to smug, glib and uncompassionate
irrelevancies when the real meaning of His love is what
people need so desperately.
is Worthy?" Ted Kennedy
Never Again, Friday 6 August 6.00 pm Town Hall Square.
Candlelight March to Archibald Fountain.
6th is the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the
United State dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima,
Japan. The city and its people were devastated. Three
days later on August 9, 1945, the United States destroyed
the city and people of Nagasaki, Japan with a second
atomic bomb. Today we recall that event and pray for
peace for our world, and for nuclear disarmament and
an end to the arms race.
God, remembering the horrors experienced by the people
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we confess the violence
and hatred, fear and resentment that pervade our world.
Forgive us, and set us free.
confess that we, and all humankind, so often put our
faith in conflict, antagonism and violence, rather
than in love and trust. Forgive us, and set us free.We
confess the madness of the arms race, and the hypocrisy
of western nations that accept nuclear weapons being
held by themselves or their allies but not by others.
Forgive us and set us free.
pray that your Holy Spirit may blow throughout the
world this day, reminding all rulers and peoples of
the horror of nuclear weapons and engendering in all
a desire to stop nuclear proliferation, get rid of
nuclear weapons (and indeed all weapons) and to end
the reliance on military force to resolve political
and economic disputes. Give to all humankind a vision
of a world where weapons have been banished, and everyone
works for the wellbeing of humankind and the environment.
Forgive us and set us free.
Spirit who revealed your love for all people in Jesus
Christ hear our words. Amen
Duino Eleqies, the poet Rainer Maris Rilke asks, "Isn't
it time for the ancient seeds of suffering to put
we approach another August 6 (Hiroshima), and another
August 9 (Nagasaki), we should apply his question
to ourselves. How can the ongoing threat of nuclear
war - any war - change the way we live in a positive
way? How can it bring us closer to God, closer to
the wretched of the earth, and closer to each other?
when we let Hiroshima and Nagasaki bear good fruit
in our lives can the suffering of its dead and dying
begin to be redeemed. Only then will we - and our
children and their children - be saved from the hardheartedness
that allowed it to happen, and that could, at any
time, allow it to happen again.
Christoph Arnold www.christopharnold.com)
Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, points
to the voices invariably absent in every set of deliberations:
the voice of spiritual leaders and the voice of women….
until two weeks ago, "Lead us in the way of peace"
always meant to me "Give me peace. Make me peaceful.
Let me not be irritable or frustrated or agitated
or upset." It was a totally passive bidding prayer
that asked for some kind of personal spiritual masseuse
to give me serenity in the midst of chaos.
not quite able to pray that prayer like that anymore……
I learned that "lead us in the way of peace"
instead of meaning "lead me to where life is
soft and warm and furry" may really mean "lead
us to understand the ways of peacemaking."
saw women (in Oslo) making peace in ways that transcend
the limits of official documents. The difference between
the way women hold political meetings and the way
governments hold political meetings may lie more in
what happens between the people there than in what
finally shows up in the resolutions.
has to do with personal relationships rather than
in behind-the-scenes deal making…..
Chittister, Nat. Cath. Reporter)
from Eulogy by Bishop David Cremmin on Bishop John
he was first and last a human being. He looked for
the humanity in others. He found the model of true
humanity in Jesus Christ. He read the gospels and
found there a straight forward story of God seeking
to love the world into freedom; got angry with those
who misused the good news to support ends that were
the very antithesis of love and freedom….."
was the Commentary given by
Elisabeth Burke on Sunday, 11 June 2004
community has always been wider than a simple definition
of parish geographical boundary. We reflect on this
for two reasons. One is that most of us live outside
that boundary! Today we remember Margaret Mazza, a
Presentation Sister, who lived in the community at
Caroline Street until she was struck by ill health.
She had returned to Lismore where she committed her
life to those on the edge of Society. She was buried
this week in Lismore. Members of the community came
from the Illawarra, the Southern Highlands, Northern
NSW, all the metropolitan cities ... all over the
country to farewell her.
second reason is that inclusivity, beyond legal definitions
lies at the heart of today's readings. The Parable
of the Good Samaritan reminds us of some of the
hallmarks of a person imbued with a living
faith. It talks about loving God with our minds, hearts
and soul AND loving thy neighbour as thyself. The
Gospel reading hearkens back to our first reading
from Deuteronomy in which we are told that in order
to have a fruitful and meaningful life we need to
go beyond an excellent knowledge of the law and practice
a theology predicated on fruitful and meaningful actions,
for others. It is what we do for OTHERS that matters.
In Deuteronomy we are told that if we love God with
all our minds and hearts, God will reward us with
a plentiful life; in Luke's gospel the injunction
to love God is quoted but with the additional rider
"to love our neighbour as oneself". And
Jesus says so you've understood it, now DO it, and
suggests that the answer to the question on eternal
life that opens the gospel story is not in following
strict rules. Rather there is a link between eternal
life and LIFE: what matters is what we DO, and the
risks we take, like the Samaritan. Luke has an interesting
sentence about the lawyer in conversation with Christ:
"But he, willing to justify himself, said to
Jesus 'And who is my neighbour?'" Why the phrase
'justify himself'? There are overtones here of one
who 'wants to present himself as a righteous man before
God' (Karl Barth); or that the lawyer will 'bask in
other people's praise of him and his good works'.
The second part of the sentence is the question 'who
is my neighbour?' The lawyer anticipated a response
along the lines that one's neighbour was a fellow
Jew, perhaps a relative or friend. But the poor man
who had been robbed, beaten, stripped naked, and left
on the road to die could have been anyone - Jew, gentile,
Aramaic, Greek, Phoenician, Samaritan, etc - he was
neither identifiable by dress nor by speech, being
unconscious. The priest ignored him, the Levite looked
and went away, but the Samaritan, a group hated by
the Jews, went to someone who could have been a Jew
... could have been anyone ... and showed compassion.
community, both in the time of Ted and today with
the bi-weekly lunches amongst other activities, has
been inspired by this parable, and by the life of
Dorothy Day who gave refuge to the poor at personal
effort. It is from this writing by Luke that we remember
being introduced to the Greek word for "compassion"
" splanchizomai" (pronounced splakizimai
(infinitive) splakma (noun) a word whose etymological
root means innards or guts. This is the nature of
the love we must experience for our fellow human being,
a love that compels us to welcome the stranger into
our hearts, at personal cost. It has nothing to do
with a check-list, cheque-book definition of love
- if I love God and do these good deeds to people
I know are like me, I'll surely get to heaven. No.
Jesus says that when we can love another with a gut
wrenching compassion, splanchizomai, we, in turn,
will experience the nature of God's love for us.
the grace to shout …
the grace to shout
when it hurts,
even though silence is expected of us,
and to listen when others shout
though it be painful to hear;
to object, to protest, when we feel, taste, or observe
believing that even the unjust and arrogant
are human nonetheless
and therefore worthy of strong efforts to reach them.
Take from us, Guiding God, the heart of despair
and fill us with courage and understanding.
Give us a self that knows very well
when the moment has come to protest.
We ask the grace to be angry
when the weakest are the first to be exploited
and the trapped are squeezed for their meagre resources,
when the most deserving are the last to thrive,
and the privileged demand more privilege.
We ask for the inspiration to make our voice heard
when we have something that needs to be said,
something that rises to our lips despite our shyness.
And we ask the grace to listen when the meek finally
and their words are an agony for us….
Cleary, Psalm Services For Group Prayer, p.58)
Prepared by Sheila Quonoey and Elisabeth Burke