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Agreemnent
Sunday, 30 August 2020

Naming a grace to celebrate

The Acts of the Apostles tells of struggles within the early church communities. Living out a 21st century faith driven ecological vocation is not straight forward. It combines head and heart, long term planning and courage. Also, it is a path that cannot be walked alone. We can meditate and pray for the grace that combines the human gifts of listening and compromise with the spiritual gifts of wisdom and love (pause).

OPENING PRAYER

Caring God, you sent you own Son to live a fully human life as we are called to live. He guided his followers in word and deed, and continues to guide all the baptised through the gift of his abiding Spirit. May we listen and not harden our hearts. May we turn to one another for help on the journey, striving to love our neighbour close by and around the planet, striving to find you in every creature that exists on Earth. Father of Jesus ...

EZEKIEL 33:7-9 - WARN THE WICKED TO REPENT

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, 'You wicked person, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

PSALM 95

Harden not you hearts

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

5 God shaped the sea and owns it and formed the dry land by hand.

8 Today if only you would hear God's voice, 'Harden not your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,

9 when you ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did'.

ROMANS 13:8-10 - MUTUAL LOVE

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbour as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

MATTHEW 18:15-17 - COMMUNAL AGREEMENT

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church.

STORY TELLING

Stories tell us that the suffering of earth and the suffering of people often go together. Research into the growing frequency of droughts and wildfires, floods and violent storms, shows that they both damage the land and turn livelihoods upside down. The twin cry of land and people need care and healing. This situation opens up often complex human challenges but equally complex ecospiritual reflection.

REFLECTION IDEAS

It takes hard headed debate and choices to plan an adequate response to Earth's environmental emergency. Structural economic and lifestyle problems take us beyond personal responsibility and personal blaming. We are called to cooperate with others so that we speak with one voice about the harmful impacts of negligent public planning and corporate greed.

Speaking truth to power is difficult. It takes insight and courage. But speaking out will lack impact if not done in cooperation with others. The ever present wisdom of God must be invoked, experts and neighbours listened to.

Living out a faith driven 'ecological vocation' is not straight forward. It cannot be walked alone. But a community working as one is strong, a grace to be prayed for as cocreators with God in a new creation.

INTERCESSIONS

1. As we proclaim God as truth, may we publicly oppose those who intentionally sow doubt in people's minds through self-interest and the lure of money. Father of Jesus ...

2. Relying on the reconciliation brought by Jesus, as a nation of Aboriginal and migrant peoples destined to be one in this land, may we replace fear with outreach and listening. Father of Jesus ...

3. Knowing that God clothes all people with wisdom about Earth's voice, may our local community live out our ecological vocation with integrity, in justice and love. Father of Jesus ...

4. Remembering that God hears the voice of the poor, may our minds and hearts be open to environmental refugees and those forced to look for new work. Father of Jesus ...

5. Scripture teaches that Israel saw droughts and floods as reminders of human fragility, so, may we grow in humility as Earth moves from drought to harvest, from death to life. Father of Jesus ...

6. Learning from Israel's hope for a promised land, may we not sacrifice land and ocean, forest and the multitude of life they support through a distorted hope of a promised land. Father of Jesus ...

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

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Creative and nurturing God, continue to guide all the baptised through the gift of the abiding Spirit of your Son. May believers turn to one another for help on the journey and reach out to listen to our neighbours close by and around the planet. May every creature and human family that exists on Earth grow into the fullness of life you eternally wish for them. Father of Jesus ...

"The urgent challenge to protect [earth] our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development ... I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share."

-Laudato Si #13

INTEGRAL-CREATION HYMNS
The adage says of hymns, to sing is to pray twice. Laudato Si' sets a radical new agenda. And putting its message to music flags a happy task in imagination for poets and musicians alike. The mood of and style of hymns help express ecological conversion. Vatican II set the criteria as pastoral relevance. But classical music and popular songs can add flair to reflection and prayer in care for earth as our common home. https:// www.earthday.org/12-songs-for-your-climate-strikeplaylist/
CATHOLIC EARTHCARE AUSTRALIA
Catholic Earthcare Australia has a mandate from the Conference of bishops. Striving for ecological conversion adds a new dimension to Christian mysticism. Growing awareness that earth underpins all life leads to humility before God and helps cultivate habits of patient reflection when making life choices. http://catholicearthcare.org.au/wp-content/ uploads/2013/12/Mandate-for-Catholic-EarthcareAustralia.pdf
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