22. Sep, 2018

Social Justice Sunday 30th September 2018

A Place to Call Home

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2018–19 is titled ‘A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land’. (PDF http://www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au/files/SJSandresources/2018/050918/Social%20Justice%20Statement%202018%20WEB.pdf). 

The latest Census figures show that more than 116,000 Australians are homeless – something unacceptable for a rich and well-resourced nation like ours.

The Scriptural basis of this year’s Statement is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–35), about the outsider who stops to help a man in desperate need, takes him to safety and pays for his care.

Every day in our streets, we, like the Samaritan, see wounded people desperately in need of help. They are the homeless and the lost, injured by misfortune, by violence and by poverty. How have so many people come to be on the streets of such a rich nation? And how is it that housing has become so unaffordable that it excludes increasing numbers of Australians?

In the Gospel of the good Samaritan Jesus told this parable in response to a lawyer who challenged him: ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ and ‘Who is my neighbour?’ The lawyer clearly wanted to test how far the commandment to love our neighbour extended.

In the parable, the man by the roadside, stripped and left half dead, had experienced what most people who sleep rough in our cities and towns know and fear: danger, violence and being robbed of the little they own. He, like many who are homeless in our society, was helpless.

While the priest and the Levite passed by, the Samaritan went out of his way, came close and tended the victim’s wounds with oil and bandages. He put his hand into his own pocket to help.

All four characters illustrate the social and political circumstances of the day. There was division between Jews and Samaritans. There was division between the rich and the poor.

We too live in a divided society – one in which we can so easily cross to the other side of the road. Jesus challenges us as individuals and as a nation. Will Australia let its heart go out to the homeless or will we continue to walk past?

The challenge of homelessness can seem so overwhelming that we may ask: ‘What can I do as an individual? There are so many people in need, with such complex problems.’ The challenges of homelessness can seem insurmountable. And, of course, there are limits to what each of us can do.

However, Jesus’ parable shows us how revolutionary and effective the actions of one person can be. Each one of us can make a difference and, when we join with others, we can be a real force for change.

We are called to be like the Samaritan by:

• We can make sure all are welcomed in our parishes.

• We can all lend a hand. There are many organisations and programs working to prevent homelessness, to support and help find accommodation for people who are homeless. We can support the outstanding work of organisations like CatholicCare and Vinnies by volunteering our time or raising donations. We commend and encourage the commitment of young people engaging in many works of charity and justice for the poor through their schools and youth apostolates. This is an essential witness of our faith.

• We can raise awareness about the problem of homelessness in various ways.

See also http://www.johnthebaptistmoora.com/346443107/6234683/posting/social-justice-sunday-30th-september-2018

Readings

On Social Justice Sunday we take the readings from the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Reading 1

NM 11:25-29

 

The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses.

Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses,

the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders;

and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

 

Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad,

were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp.

They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent;

yet the spirit came to rest on them also,

and they prophesied in the camp.

So, when a young man quickly told Moses,

"Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, "

Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses' aide, said,

"Moses, my lord, stop them."

But Moses answered him,

"Are you jealous for my sake?

Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!

Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

 

Responsorial Psalm

PS 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14

 

R. (9a) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

The law of the LORD is perfect,

refreshing the soul;

the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,

giving wisdom to the simple.

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

The fear of the LORD is pure,

enduring forever;

the ordinances of the LORD are true,

all of them just.

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Though your servant is careful of them,

very diligent in keeping them,

yet who can detect failings?

Cleanse me from my unknown faults!

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant;

let it not rule over me.

Then shall I be blameless and innocent

of serious sin.

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

 

Reading 2

JAS 5:1-6

 

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.

Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,

your gold and silver have corroded,

and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;

it will devour your flesh like a fire.

You have stored up treasure for the last days.

Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers

who harvested your fields are crying aloud;

and the cries of the harvesters

have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;

you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.

You have condemned;

you have murdered the righteous one;

he offers you no resistance.

 

Alleluia

CF. JN 17:17B, 17A

 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Your word, O Lord, is truth;

consecrate us in the truth.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel

MK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

 

At that time, John said to Jesus,

"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,

and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."

Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.

There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name

who can at the same time speak ill of me.

For whoever is not against us is for us.

Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink

because you belong to Christ,

amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

 

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,

it would be better for him if a great millstone

were put around his neck

and he were thrown into the sea.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.

It is better for you to enter into life maimed

than with two hands to go into Gehenna,

into the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.

It is better for you to enter into life crippled

than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.

Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye

than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,

where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

 

Prayers of the Faithful

The following intercessions are offered for incorporation in your Prayers of the Faithful.

Celebrant: We pray to the God of all people, that our hearts will be open to Jesus’ message of justice and compassion and that we will be inspired to welcome and support our sisters and brothers who endure poverty and homelessness in our society today.

For all people who struggle to meet the costs of housing and live in the shadow of homelessness, that the abundance of our nation’s wealth will be shared to ensure that all can find a place to call home.

Let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord hear our prayer

For our political leaders who govern for the common good of our nation, that your spirit of justice and compassion will urge them on to address the scourge of homelessness in our society.

Let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord hear our prayer

For your community of faith and all people of good will, that we will foster communities in which all who are afflicted by poverty and exclusion will find welcome, belonging and assistance in their time of need.

Let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord hear our prayer

Celebrant: Hear the prayers of your people, merciful God, and in your loving kindness, grant us all that we need to remain faithful to you. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. 

Amen.