The Australian Press have had a field day this week. I enjoyed the headline ‘Australian Church in Crisis’. Not to my mind in Pyramid Hill or Moama, let alone Ashgrove in Queensland where over one hundred married people, a number of Catholic Priests from most states in Australia and delegates from England and the Philippines have been meeting to discuss ‘Marriage beyond the Wedding’… a far more important topic for Australia than a matter to come before the Victorian Magistrates Court later this month.
An aspect of marriage is raised in the reading from the second book of the Kings today.
“I live with my own people about me.”
The volatility of our communities is disrupting our sense of belonging and contributing to the lack of support for those contemplating marriage, let alone wondering if it’s worthwhile. We heard of instances in which the local community was united in presenting to those preparing for marriage a series of steps which, when implemented by all marriage celebrants with the backing of the community, surprise, surprise, the rate of marriage breakdown was diminished.
The reading also illustrates the value of hospitality and the meal. So dear and important in all Christian and other faith-based marriages.
“Well, she has no son…”
In their world, no insurance or social service provision for old age. Not the most important reason for having a son/daughter, but…?
The joy of all our weekend is summarised in the Psalm:
“Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”
Dr Ryan Messmore took us on a memorable journey back to the original depts of the Covenant story and the reminder that Covenant was about relationships and contract was about chattels. We are on about Covenant in an increasingly mercenary economic profit driven society; the challenge to reorient our people to take hold of the goodness of the Lord who instigated the Covenant and who will not go away and will remain faithful are immense, and much more important than football and the big boxing match this Sunday.
The question remains: ‘who’ and ‘how’? We did take a few steps and we must be some of the agents of regaining the positive ground. Somehow, we must bring the Son to the table. In a sense, we may only be able to give ‘a cup of cold water’ to the little ones embarking on the great and beautiful journey of marriage, but we do so because we are disciples, alive for God in Christ Jesus our Lord, and alive and standing in the bright light of Truth.
The census data was not all doom and gloom, but did present us with a picture of what needs to be done. Pope Francis reminds us that getting our feet dirty on the streets is more important today than more proclamations of deep unintelligible pronouncements.
Go…and get your feet dirty!
Teams Conference Mass