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
A saint for today
Our theme for this
month is St Francis of Assisi. There are many areas
of this man’s life we could dwell on. We are all
familiar with His love of all living things
of God’s creation. Who could forget…….
Praise be You,
my Lord, through our Sister
Who sustains and governs us,
flowers and herbs.
Francis of Assisi, The Canticle of
We read in the SJ Statement 2002 A NEW EARTH - the
environmental challenge "A relationship exists
among all of God’s creatures."
This is what St.
Francis of Assisi, patron saint for ecology, celebrated
in his life and in his Canticle. He sang of the
sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, the water and
fire as brothers and sisters, and of our sister,
St Francis is one
who comes to mind when we think of cultivating peace
and the words – Make me a channel of your
The SJ Statement
2004 says, "Peace is our vocation. We are called
to cultivate peace wherever possible – in our families,
communities, in national life and even globally.
The values of truth, justice, love and freedom,
when made real in people’s lives, are dimensions
of the abundant peace that the risen Christ brings
to his followers and to the world."
aspect of St Francis is that he bore the Stigmata
– the wounds of Christ. St. Francis’ life was a
call to bring the church back to simplicity and
to respond to the needs of the wounds of all the
earth. He saw Christ in all the wounded. Remember
the story of St Francis meeting the leper and instead
of turning away he reached out and kissed him.
In our church we
have an altar which was made by Tom Bass for the
celebration of his daughter‘s wedding. On it are
carved the wounds of Christ – a reminder to us that
we must never forget the wounded of the world. It
is our call to respond to the needs of the people
who enter our lives, especially the Aboriginal people
of Australia. Also, it is a reminder that when we
stand with the “made poor” - the people on the edges
of our society,
the ones ignored and denied justice, we too will
suffer the wounds of rejection, seen as fools and
attempts will be made to silence us. As we stand
before this beautiful altar we have the wounds of
Christ before us to strengthen and give us courage
to be the Jesus of the gospels.
St Francis of Assisi
was deeply sensitive and gentle and yet showed courage
and strength when he was called to speak out and
challenge wherever he saw injustice whether in the
church or society.
If the members of a local community want their community
to cohere, to flourish and to last, here are some
of the things they [should] do:
local nature - the land, the water, the air,
the native creatures - within the membership
of the community;
- ask how local needs might be
supplied from local sources;
- see that the old and young take
care of neighbourly acts;
- always care for [your] people,
and teach [your] children
Farmer & Philosopher
Quoted in "Naked Ape to Superspecies",
David Suzuki & Holly Dressel
On Thursday 23rd September some of Redfern’s Reflection
Group – Mary, Marnie, Clare, Dom and Sheila met at
Maryland to plant the ‘Peppermint Eucalyptus’ which
Sheila had carried in the offertory procession at
our Christmas Mass. Rhonda had supplied the tree.
It was nine months with Sheila before it was born
into the earth of Maryland.
Sheila, Mary, Dom and Marnie help
plant the tree.
Peppermint Eucalyptus watered, fertilized
and mulched ready to continue its life
We named it the Redfern Tree. As we planted it we
prayed that this tree would be a symbol for us of
growth and a reaching out to all those in need. As
its roots grow deep into the earth and are nourished
and fed, we pray that we at Redfern will be nourished
and made strong, rooted deeply in the faith and the
gospel of Jesus
Twenty-fifth Sunday of Pentecost
19th of September 2004.
A reflection by John Hill
readings we are privileged to listen to in our Eucharist
sharing this morning. They reveal to us so much about
who we are and the way we act and how we deal with
conflict. Amos is surely a prophet of the 21st century.
His words were as sharp then in his time as they are
for us today. The situation is no different. Times
of rapid change ensured that the rich got richer and
the poor became poorer. The rich could exploit the
changing situation to their advantage. Amos addressed
their greed—here they wanted the Sabbath to be over
and done with so that they could go on with their
money dealings. For them as for many today the flavour
of the month was and is the Gross National Product,
a new and uglier name for the old god, Mammon. The
last sentence of Amos rings loud and clear. “Never
will I forget a single thing that you have done.”
The memory of our God is long. It is eternal. This
is something those with power and prestige so easily
psalm blends in so well with the readings. “Who is
like our God?” Who is it that stoops down from the
heights to look down upon heaven and earth? The psalm
concludes with God’s exquisite kindness to the poor.
This in marked contrast to those whose conduct Amos
Timothy’s words are
clear and down to earth. He asks for prayers for those
in authority. It is for them to live in peace and
quiet, which implies that they forgo arrogance and
hubris, for such are the work of the devil. When someone
wields absolute power for their own advantage we know
the message of the Gospel is lost to them. At the
same time it affects the life of the community. This
is easily seen in the distain those in authority so
often display. Their mates are the media giants who
give the world the message that wealth and power are
essential for the good life.
All of this dovetails
into our Gospel story. Although it is good to remember
that this Gospel reading is a bit tricky. The steward
is asked to make contracts for his master. He did
not want to be seen as a usurer, that is someone who
charges interest on money loaned at an exorbitant
rate, so in his shrewdness he took decisive action
for himself. Here Jesus is encouraging decisive action
on the part of his disciples. So that when the day
comes they will be ready for the kingdom.
Jesus contrasts the
wisdom of the steward in the ways of the world with
the failure of the disciples to be equally active
in discipleship. The final sentence of the reading
sums it up. “No servant can be the slave of two masters.”
Here he is telling us that the hardest road to travel
is where you experience your own vulnerability. At
the heart of this story is the recognition of possibility.
This is a very far cry from ‘we can do nothing’ approach.
Here the steward recogni ses what his responsibility
is to himself and to others. He knows that he must
act decisively. It is the poor in our society who
are fearful that they will not be accepted if they
reach out. They see themselves as powerless and so
they react accordingly. They speak out of fear because
rejection is at hand. When are the poor not rejected?
It is when fear gives way to empowerment. That happens
when those who have something, enough of the things
of this world come to the land, to the turf of the
poor and in entering into their territory sit with
them. They share their food and become one with them.
They enter into the soul of the poor and view life
from their lens. It is then that both parties are
lifted up. One is able to move away from arrogance,
the other is able to move away from fear. It goes
to prove that the richness of God’s love is unfathomable.
We can always be ready for the Kingdom; or rather
the Kingdom is ready for us, for even if we fail to
see Jesus he continues to offer opportunities. With
such an assurance we will gradually move into the
territory of the other, step into their sandals and
begin to see that the beauty of dialogue does in fact
We will not allow
the core material of our own indoctrination, our conditioning,
and our looking only through the lenses that we have
constructed for our own convenience to shape our lives.
Like the steward we too will be confronted with the
choices that are necessary for the Kingdom to become
a reality. We too will use the worldly wisdom of the
steward to make decisive our actions. Pope JohnXXIII
summed it up when he described his role in life; “I
am the servant of the servants of God.”
Amos, Timothy and
the Steward of today’s Gospel are the vehicles for
us to find the Kingdom, a kingdom found initially
when we learn the meaning of genuine sharing. For
this to happen we are exposed to the many paradoxes
of life - the baffling combination of attachment and
detachment, of solidarity and non-conformity, commitment
and openness. This for some may seem a tall order
but for those in search of the kingdom it becomes
Thank you dear God
for the seed of prayer that you
Have planted in the heart of each of us.
Prayers, like people come in different shapes and
Some are long and tall
And some are short and small.
Some are round and layered
And others are as small as a tear drop.
Some are cried out lod
And others are wordless.
Whatever it's size or shape
You hear us all.
We thanj you for the seed of prayer you
Have planted in the heart of every being in creation.
Maureen Flood, 19/09/2004
Collated by Sheila Quonoey