Light, Life and Justice
As noted yesterday, light is a key theme for our Australia Day Mass. Two related themes that are strongly present in the four readings are Fertility/Life and Justice/Integrity.
In our part of Australia, winters can be cold and long and I love seeing the first whispers of Spring – tiny buds on trees, birds competing for mates, the edge coming off the frosts and, less welcome, the first weeds pushing through the brown winter grass. However, these changes are trivial compared to the rapid metamorphosis in the Top End of our nation. In the Gun-djehmi language this time is called Gunumeleng – the pre-monsoon storm season. Although the skies are transfixed by lightning, the heavy storms carry little rain as yet but are a signal for an explosion in activity by plants and animals. As in today’s reading from Isaiah, the “wilderness becomes fertile land”. In the Psalm, we are told that “our earth shall yield its fruit”. It is the ‘Build Up’, the toughest of the Top End’s six seasons; but relief, Gudjewg season, is coming.
As Christians, we live in Gunumeleng time. Jesus was murdered but is alive and will return! We can see the signs, the first fruits, but the justice and integrity that Isaiah longs for is not here yet. In the meantime, what are we to do?
The readings from Corinthians and the Gospel give us our marching orders. St Paul tells us that every believer is a part of the Body; each of us has a divinely chosen role to play. Our hope is in Christ’s return but meanwhile, we have to get busy in living out the call that the Lord has given us. We will be blessed – joyful/satisfied/happy – when in our daily lives, we say “Yes” to vocations.
God has given us this remarkable land but no culture now or indeed in the past, is or was perfect. In our own modest way, we get to cooperate with God’s great plan for Creation. So today on Australia’s National Day, let’s commit to evangelization, to peacemaking, to works of mercy, to reconciliation, to justice until the Lord returns.
Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the skies rain down righteousness;
Let the earth open, that salvation may spring up.