There is something refreshing that happens when a new year begins. It presents the opportunity to participate more deeply in God’s mercy as we set the counters back to zero and begin again. We can rule the line under the previous year and deepen our hope that the new year will be better, or at least different. We may express this hope in making new year resolutions; we may express this in just wanting this year to be better than last year.
Where is God? Who is God? These are questions that the heart of every human being asks at some stage of their life. We answer them in various ways.
‘You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.’ These words, spoken by Pope John Paul II, now a saint, on November 29 1986 in Alice Springs, form part of a longer address he gave that day to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Blatherskite Park. Even though he did so 37 years ago, they are well worth reading and meditating by every Australian Catholic, particularly in the lead up to the referendum on October 14.
The Gospel from Matthew Chapter 15 for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary time Year ‘A’, which we proclaimed recently, featured the Canaanite woman ‘taking Jesus on’. Of the many elements in this Gospel, one that struck me this year was that of perseverance and persistence.
In the lead up to the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, some were unsure about the process, thinking it was perhaps a backdoor way of implementing some sort of Church Parliament. Similarly with the coming first session of the Synod on Synodality. Thankfully, not so.
In the years since I have been in Adelaide, the May Marian Procession has been held three times. Three different experiences; three prayerful experiences.