Given at Cronulla on August, 17, 2008.
There is a story about a
When Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI was recently in
At the gathering, Pope Benedict said that “
In this brief paragraph, Pope Benedict makes 3 key points:
- The importance of religious freedom.
- Contribution made by people of faith to the well-being of society.
- Promotion of human dignity and fellowship among all nations.
My friends, today’s readings speak of the expansive nature of the “
Today’s psalm reinforces this point. “Let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.”
In the second reading, Paul admits that although the Jews were the chosen people, most of them denied the promised Messiah and consequently, the Gentiles – the non-Jews (the people who most of us are descended from) received mercy through their faith in Jesus.
In the Gospel, Jesus proves that salvation was meant for the gentiles as well as Jews, by healing the daughter of a gentile woman as a reward for her strong faith, proving that God's mercy and love are available to all who call out to Him in faith.
Very often we set up walls which separate us from one another and from God. Today's Gospel reminds us that God's love and mercy are extended to all who call on him in faith and trust in God, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how much money they have.
My friends, Christ did not begin the Church of Australia or the
All the world is called to be the People of God, not just in terms of our Sunday worship, but we are called to overcome the divisions that exist within humanity. We are called to be one people.
Pope Benedict said: “My dear friends, I have come to
We need to work, day in and day out to pull down every wall which separates and divides humanity. These walls are not only racial or religious, but it may be age, financial ability, or political preferences.
Some of the older members of our congregation may remember the Berlin Wall being pulled down which united
But we think of others walls – the wall between
Perhaps it is not a wall but a bridge – Tom Ugly’s or Taren Point.
Perhaps it is a separation between parish school and parish church.
Pope Benedict said: “Men and women are endowed with the ability not only to imagine how things might be better, but to invest their energies to make them better. Who is not impressed by the power of the human spirit to set goals and to develop ways of achieving them?”
My friends, we must invest in the future of humanity.
Each of us has investments – they may be in a bank, the stock market or in property. How do each of us invest our energies to make the world and our Church a better place, a more united and peaceful people?
Pope Benedict said that within everyone human being is a “religious sense which is planted within the human heart. This leads us to meet the needs of others and to search for concrete ways to contribute to the common good. Religions… teach people that authentic service requires sacrifice and self-discipline, … cultivated through self-denial, temperance and a moderate use of the world’s goods.”
My friends, humanity is meant to be united, and religion is meant to unite us, not divide. Let us pray that the walls which we have raised will crumble.
What will each of us do? What investment will each of us make? I can’t tell you what to do. God has planted within each of our hearts what we are to do for our world, our Church, our community.
Something has to be done. Let’s take up the challenge and make a difference!