Today we celebrate Australia Day.

I know that there are various opinions about this day.

My focus today is on all people who live here.

Australia, as an inhabited country, goes back many tens of thousands of years.

Due acknowledgement of this reality is obvious.  There are various opinions on how this is best done.  All discussion needs to be respectful and open. 

It is believed that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Australia.  They called this land the ‘great South land of the Holy Spirit’.  So much was new to them, so much was mysterious.

Calling on guidance from the Holy Spirit on how to move forward on the importance of how best to acknowledge the continuous living in this great land by the First Nations, is certainly helpful.

As well as our First Nations peoples, so many others have come, especially in the last 200 years or so.  This is even more so since the ‘white Australia’ policy ended some decades ago.

Like all that is human, our history has had much to celebrate.  However, there is also much that needs liberation and purification by Christ.

Christ is indeed the best way for all nations to find true identity and true prosperity.  Compared to many other counties we have so many resources.

My own family migrated here to benefit from these resources.  For this I am grateful.

We are all so privileged to be in this wonderful county.  There is so much beauty; we are so blessed with so many resources, so many good people!

Regardless of creed or background, we all need to keep talking together so that we can truly benefit from the blessings in this land.  However, we are also part of the larger world community.

As human beings we cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.  This is not possible for many reasons.  We also have a moral responsibility to be generous and considerate in our dealings with people in other countries.

As Christians we are particularly called to be” light of the world, and salt of the earth”, disciples of Jesus.  God’s love is universal.  Jesus teaches us that God does not give up on anyone!  There are many issues facing us that are very challenging.  I do not know the answers to many of the questions that face us.  However, I do know that Jesus made a promise to be with us always.

In prayer, reflection, and respectful well-informed conversation, we need to offer leadership to our fellow Australians , a servant leadership.

Among these is respect for all; the pursuit of the common good; working to find solutions with others instead of unilaterally deciding what is best for them, the right treatment of asylum seekers, etc.

We are people of hope because we know as we pray the Our Father “may YOUR Kingdom come” that God is guiding, and we are invited to listen.

We move ahead together in hope and love.

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