Time to Act

Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Season of Creation 4 – from sermon notes by Vivek da Silva)

Numbers 11:25-29; Psalm 19:7-14; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48

Last week we heard about the selfishness of the disciples as they squabbled over which of them would be the greatest, a lesson James also reinforced when he wrote of the terrible consequences of selfish behaviour.

This week we see the jealousy of the disciples on display as they rebuke the good work of others because they felt they were “not one of us!”

Recently I was disturbed hear priests in our diocese complaining about AC Care and Anglicare not being more closely aligned with local churches – I am not exactly sure what they meant because they were not being forthright about the issue, but what I am sure about is that they do not get it!

Instead of complaining about someone else doing good works and expecting them to conform and become part of some club, they could just as easily have offered to help in the work itself!

Just as how recently several parishes, including our own, partnered to help bring aid to stranded and vulnerable international students during the height of lockdowns and restrictions.

The talk is there, but there is an unwillingness to walk to the walk!

Much the same thinking could be applied to the way humans have treated the environment and what we need to do to move forward in fixing it.

There is a lot of talk, but sadly not much else.

We continue to exploit and ravage the planet for our own material benefit regardless of the costs. We have grown rich at the expense of the earth and the epistle of James is pretty forthright in warning us all of the consequences.

In Laudato Si we read: (The earth) cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.

We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.

The violence present in our hearts ... is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.

This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22).

We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air, and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Over the last year we have seen how the earth has been ravaged by unprecedented fires, floods, and heat waves.

The world has grappled with a virulent respiratory disease that brought the world to an enforced slow down.

It offered people the opportunity, amidst great hardship and grief, to pause and reflect on their own lives and their relationship with all of