Wednesday, September 17, 2008

28 September 2008 Social Justice Sunday

A Summary

This year’s statement reflects on the Gospel story of the rich young man who asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life. The man was shocked when Jesus told him to sell all he had and follow him. He went away, unable to let go of his possessions and see and act in a different way (Mark 10: 17 -22).

The rich man had kept the Law, but he could not step out of his comfort zone and see the plight of the poor and care for them.

Like the rich man, we in Australia are challenged by the Word of God to use its wealth for the good of all, especially for those who have missed out on economic prosperity.

This year’s Social Justice Sunday Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is titled A Rich Young Nation: The Challenge of Affluence and Poverty in Australia.

Orders can be made now by going to the
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s site

Monday, September 08, 2008

Makes You Think Doesn't It? Join the conversation...

The Holy and the Profane.
[W]e are always in the sanctuary. We are in a holy place when we are in the most secular place, and the most holy place remains secular.... Whenever omnipresence is experienced, it breaks down the difference between the sacred and the profane. ~Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology (I), p. 278

This is confronting. I have experienced what I perceived to be "evil" in many places. In Kings Cross, substance withdrawal hand-holding, India poverty, crime and corruption, counselling sessions, war and movies, prison, and at the centre of my own life; where the hair on my neck stood up and I was gripped by paralysing fear and impossible flight. I know these experiences are not unique to me, and that I survived them. So what is the affirmation here in Tillich's use of "omnipresence" and "sanctuary", "secular" and "profane"? Is it just inappropriate dualism; reducing situations to one of two opposites? Or something more?
Ray Richmond