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We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, as the traditional caretakers of the land which is the Richmond Catholic Parish.

We acknowledge the Elders, past and present.

May we, too, be good stewards of this land.

Talents and responsibilities PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 19 November 2017: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Using your talents wiselyThe day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night

The parable of Jesus points to the ‘Day of the Lord’ when God’s people will be called to account for the responsibilities brought by the great blessings they have received. In today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, Paul continues his instruction concerning the Lord’s return, echoing the imagery used by Jesus in the gospels. Life must go on; it is not given to us to know the ‘times and seasons’ of the final reckoning; the ‘Day of the Lord’ will come ‘like a thief in the night’; God’s people must ‘stay awake and sober’, living as ‘children of the light’. It is not difficult to see that these themes provide the background of today’s parable. The master is a long time in coming, and arrives unexpectedly to ‘go through the servants’ accounts’. The servants who have administered well the wealth entrusted to them are to be entrusted with ‘greater things’; they will share in ‘their master’s happiness’ – a clear reference, for those who have ears to hear, of the blessings of the final Kingdom.

If we appreciate the greatness of the blessings brought by faith in Christ, we will be aware of the responsibilities they bring.

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of Andrey Mironov (Own work); resized; [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – 25 November 2017

Some people have asked why there is a special day dedicated to the elimination of violence against women. Is not all violence equally reprehensible, whether directed against men or women? The answer, of course, is that all violence is equally to be deplored and eliminated. But the fact is that most people who experience domestic violence are women, and they are generally most helpless in the face of it.

Whether in war or at home women bear the brunt of unprovoked violence. In addition, because in most societies women are primarily responsible for caring for children, the violence women suffer has a particularly destructive effect on the development of children into responsible and self-reliant adults. Violence against women is a crime against the whole of society.

It is important that we keep before our eyes the pain, shame and physical harm caused by violence, and that we acknowledge it can never be justified by custom or by extenuating circumstances. The extent and seriousness of violence against women has long been masked by neglect, by blinding ourselves to bruises of body and spirit that are clear to see, and by assuming that each man’s home is his castle with its own justice system, violent or not, which must not be interfered with. The opinion that what happens in the family stays in the family is a charter for violence. At a time when the extent of domestic violence in Australia has become clearer, it is necessary to reject all the things that conceal and minimise it.

Although the day for the elimination of violence against women begins rightly by focusing on women, it should not be allowed to end there. Most violence against women is perpetrated by men. It follows that we must turn our attention to the reasons by men bash women, not to find an excuse for their behaviour, but to protect victims of violence by helping men understand and change their ways. If they learn to respect their wives and partners, both women and men will flourish.

That is the significance of the Jesuit Social Services Men’s Project. It asks what factors in men’s backgrounds and cultural assumptions leads them to act violently to women. Many men grow with stunted understanding of what it means to be male and of what women expect of men. Where masculinity is associated with aggression and stoicism in accepting pain, and no weight is placed on emotional honesty or on the exploration of feelings, frustration and resentment are likely to be expressed in violence. Patterns of behaviour learned as children are likely to be repeated as adults.

This suggests the size of the challenge of changing violent ways of acting towards woman. But for the sake both of women and men this challenge must be met.

Fr Andrew Hamiton SJ

 
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