Isaiah 32: 15-18
Matthew 5: 1-12a


In Australia today is Australia Day. The celebration of this national day is growing in its complexity as the country considers its past, present and how we wish to live together in the future. The Australian bishops have chosen a set of Mass readings for this day which focus on the need for reconciliation and the recognition of gifts. The gospel is fittingly, the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12) or alternately the ‘Lilies of the Field’ (Luke 12:22-32) but it is the synopsis of the first reading (Isaiah 32:15-18) which has resonated with me-

The effect of justice will be peace.

There are so many places in the world today that need justice for peace to occur and how often have we bypassed justice to affect a peace which is not true and lasting, but only an absence of conflict and war?

How often does conflict occur between individuals and nations because one party chooses to pursue a ‘justice’ which is self-serving and grounded in greed and power?

The reading says that it is integrity that brings peace, and justice that gives lasting security. Treating others morally whether personally; nationally or internationally is the key to lasting peace and the presence of the reign of God. The reading concludes with ‘My people will live in a peaceful home, in safe houses, in quiet dwellings’. Today let us appreciate everything that our country gives to us but also pray for peace built on justice- for all in this nation and our global community.

Alison Gore is a parishioner at St Paul of the Cross, Glen Osmond. She works in education and formation.