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Sunday 17 September 2017: Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father, forgive usI tell you that you forgive not seven times but seventy times seven.

Let us examine our attitudes to others in our worshipping community. Have we failed to face up to our antagonisms, and tended to justify them by being judgmental of the attitudes of our fellow Christians? The great Church Father, John Chrysostom, has good advice for us as we examine our conscience. If we are not aware of our destructive attitudes we shall never grow up spiritually. On the other hand, he tells us, awareness of our own failings helps us to find the wisdom, gentleness and compassion that should be ours as true followers of the Saviour.

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com (see also: Father Forgive Us)

Australian Citizenship Day

Ordinarily Australian Citizenship Day (17 September) would be something to celebrate by putting an extra sausage on the barbie and then forgetting about the Day. This year, though, citizenship has been on the front pages. First, the Government announced new changes that made it more difficult to become an Australian citizen. And then, almost by retaliation for meanness, fate arranged that Government ministers and other parliamentarians should have had their own positions thrown into doubt because they may have held double citizenship.

The politics of citizenship are fascinating, but the day and the changes being made to citizenship invite us to think more deeply about what it means for us. Our starting point as Catholics, and indeed as human beings, is that each person in the world is deeply loved by God as a human being - not because of their virtues or accomplishments - and that we are joined in a shared humanity. All human beings in the world are our brothers and sisters upon whom we depend and who depend on us.

It follows that we are first and foremost citizens of the world, and are each entitled to a place at the table of the world on which we can eat. Many people are deprived of that place, of course. They lay on us all a responsibility to make a place for them.

Australian citizenship reflects the same truth that we are not isolated individuals, but that we depend on one another to flourish as human beings. We belong to our nation and we are responsible to each other in making and sharing its resources. We are all entitled to a place in the national table.
We are also members of other groups within the nation – of states, shires, churches, schools, unions, sporting clubs. The shared commitments and the mutual affection of these groups contribute to the health of the nation. They all show how our relationships to other people and to the groups we form shape our own identity and that of the nation. Citizenship is part of our lives.

When we see citizenship in this way we can see that it is not a privilege conferred as a gift by governments or parliaments but is a deeper gift that we have by living together in a nation that we claim as our own, and accepting its institutions. Governments may place conditions on it, but they have no right to make it depend on language, wealth, religion, intelligence or national origin.

In recent years politicians have used citizenship as an attempt to shape the religious and racial composition of Australia, making it more difficult for elderly immigrants and others to obtain citizenship. This affects many of the vulnerable people with whom we work at Jesuit Social Services, and we have made a strong submission to the Senate Enquiry in their defence.

To treat citizenship as a gift that separates dinky di Aussies from others is to divide Australians and to deny many a place at the table.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ

 

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults: First Gathering

BibleSaturday 07 October 2017, 5:00pm

St Ignatius’ Church
326 Church Street
Richmond VIC 3121

Are you thinking about becoming a member of the Catholic Church?

We are hosting our first gathering where you can come and talk to us and we can help you through this very special time of discernment.

Please contact us between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Tuesday to Friday


First Holy Communion

EucharistSunday 29 October 2017, 10:30am

St James’ Church
162 Kent Street
North Richmond VIC 3121

Please keep the following First Communion Candidates from Trinity Catholic School in your prayers:

  • Luca, Nghia, William, Phuong, Emerson;
  • Katarina, Nyadeng, Ridley, Christo;
  • Philip, Will, Tomasz, Reginald, and Philiana