Baruch 1: 15 – 22
These readings today are uncomfortable and challenging for us as individuals and community. They focus on themes of community spiritual renewal and recommitment to the Lord and the values he espouses. These readings focus on ‘we’; not so much on each individual’s failings, but on how much each individual contributes to the loss of faith and commitment of the whole community.
Today the effects of social sinfulness and lack of social responsibility are all around us. Values, attitudes, and actions often witness to self-interest or thoughtlessness, rather than those espoused by Jesus to bring about the Kingdom of God.
Discrimination and lack of respect touch many, of various cultures and nationalities, creeds, age, gender, social and economic backgrounds, with various physical and mental health conditions. Their voices are silenced or not heard. Our environment is being damaged by thoughtless consumerism and greed. So often we simply ignore these cries of creation or silence them.
How often do we consider that our own individual attitudes and actions increase these social sins of the community?
How often do we consider that our attitude and actions towards social justice or the respect and dignity of all people, or unjust structures, have a cumulative effect in forming society’s attitudes and actions?
How often do we realize that our attitudes or thoughtless or negligent actions regarding recycling or energy use, or wasteful purchases, have a collective effect in harming our environment?
Well may we lament today!
These readings invite us to a change of heart, for community spiritual renewal and recommitment. We are invited to realize that when we work together, and witness to respect, dignity and justice for all, all our people and all our world, it is the Lord who speaks in us and through us.
Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.