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Heals And Casts Out Devils
Saturday, 29 August 2020

Naming a grace to celebrate

Isaiah tells us that God looks upon the suffering of all peoples and the Earth itself. The word trauma regularly appears in news reports ranging from climate emergency to mental health, from family violence to migration. Let us remember that Jesus healed the sick and cast out devils, and that as people of hope let us begin by weeping when we hear the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor (pause).

OPENING PRAYER

Father of Jesus, you sent your Son to proclaim true freedom to those bound in mind or body, by physical restraints or spiritual anxiety. Lead all who are held captive in any way to pass from groaning and lament to freedom. May we be reborn, joining with Earth itself in praising your abiding presence, proclaiming the good news of your faithfulness. We ask ...

ISAIAH 61:1-3 - FREE CAPTIVES

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

PSALM 137

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept

1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.

2 There on the poplars we hung our harps,

3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land

5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.

ROMANS 8:19-22 - CREATION GROANS

Creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

MATTHEW 4:23-25 - CARE FOR OUTCASTS

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demonpossessed, those having seizures, and the paralysed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

STORY TELLING

Most people can tell stories about how they have seen the creative action of God thwarted. Even an elementary knowledge of evolutionary processes leads us to question over fishing oceans or over stocking farms, to putting little tested chemicals into the food chain or the proliferation of garbage dumps. Not only lament but anger is a legitimate response. Protest as well as loving action to heal become part of eco-spirituality.

REFLECTION IDEAS

Many people die in their pursuit of freedom. People go to any length to be healed in mind and body. Both freedom and healing are universal desires. In his environmental encyclical Pope Francis reminds us to look to the reality of a suffering Earth, parched lands and polluted ocean, diminished wildlife and its suffering peoples. All suffer under increasing human exploitation. We are to acknowledge hunger, lack of security, forced migrations; acknowledge pollution, species loss and climate change.

The Scriptures are full of the twin cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. The psalms lament the suffering of the people and invite them to join with the suffering of the stress of parched land, with the stress of a tree starved of water. It is God who upholds hope for healing and freedom, free like sheep led to green pastures in another image. God cares and is never far away from a suffering world.

Our ecological commitment calls us to bring hope to a suffering world. That hope is grounded in the faithfulness of an abiding God who heals and frees. The young and future generations will die if they have no vision of hope to pull them forward to healing in life, or if there are no actions which grow true freedom.

INTERCESSIONS

1. As Jesus travelled Galilee preaching Good News to liberate those suffering bondage in mind or body, may we have the courage to cooperate with all people of good will working for liberation. Father of Jesus ...

2. As Jesus healed the sick and cast out devils, may we grow in compassion, supporting workers who sacrifice themselves to care for people on the margins. Father of Jesus ...

3. Scripture says that God favours the oppressed, so, may we campaign to cancel the debt of nations lured into the false dreams of unsustainable development. Father of Jesus ...

4. Remembering that God willed the evolving design of our world, may we be cautious in adopting technologies that harm nature and farmers alike, deceiving consumers with false promises. Father of Jesus ...

5. As water is a sign of baptismal conversion, may dreams of irrigated lands not lead to ecological vandalism or to denying access to water as a human right. Father of Jesus ...

6. Knowing that Earth itself is a sign that God is near and giving, let our church communities be grateful to the scientists and poets who help reveal the gift of earth as mother. Father of Jesus ...

PRAY AS JESUS TAUGHT: "OUR FATHER ..."

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Creative and nurturing God, your Son ushered in a new era of good news to the nations. May we be transformed so that we can live as good news for our neighbours and Earth itself, caring and healing in your name. Strengthen us on our painful journey as part of all creation groaning to give birth to a new creation. We ask ...

"drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows."

-Laudato Si #15

CREATING STORIES MODELLED ON THE PARABLES
Jesus told parables to convey deep spiritual truths, taking example from everyday life.https://www. biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/parables-of-jesus/ Anyone can adapt a parable. For example, using the story of the seed growing while the owner sleeps (Mk 4:26-29) powerfully illustrates that Earth's natural systems operate to support all life 24/7 without human thought or direction. Another way to create parables uses stories about local wildlife. Climate and physical isolation always produce unique flora and fauna. https://www.natureaustralia.org.au/explore/australiananimals/10-weird-and-wonderful-wildlife-of-australia/
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Sunday Gospel reflection with Father William Grimm: Third Sunday of the Year (B)
22 January 2021

The clearest presence of the reign is Jesus, God\'s reign made flesh. \"The time of fulfillment has come\" is another way of saying, \"Here I am!\"

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