Homily: Sunday 25 in Ordinary Time
This How slow to learn they are!
How slow to learn we are!
The disciples had been accompanying Jesus for some time now. He had been teaching them, guiding them, revealing to them the mysteries of the kingdom.
Social Services Sunday
– a time to reflect and give thanks
On 19 September, we mark Social Services Sunday within the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. On this day we invite all to give thanks and pray for all who stand with and provide support to those who are marginalised and vulnerable within our communities. We recognise with deep gratitude, those working within Catholic Social Services Victoria’s 43 member organisations, the 7,000 staff and 17,000 volunteers, who together, serve more than 200,000 people in need each year. We also give thanks for all in our parishes, who are so often at the forefront of providing practical support and care to those in need within their local communities, and beyond.
We call to mind the recent 2021/22 Social Justice Statement – Cry of the Earth Cry of the Poor – released by the Australian Catholic bishops, which reminds us of the social mission of the Church and which urges us to reflect on ‘the bigger picture’ and to act together on social, economic and ecological issues. Together, we all have a role to play in building a just and equitable society, where all have equal opportunities to flourish and prosper.
Some practical examples of Catholic social services ‘hearing the cry of the earth and cry of the poor’
During the Victorian lockdown periods, where homeless people have been housed in hotels, representatives from member organisations delivered meals, made calls, visited and supported these people, particularly St Mary’s House of Welcome, Sacred Heart Mission, St Vincent’s Health Australia, VincentCare, Jesuit Social Services and St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria. As the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began, staff at Jesuit Social Services' Ecological Justice Hub in Brunswick realised that many vulnerable people in the local community would find it difficult to access fresh, nutritious food. In response, the staff and volunteers at the Hub implemented a meal delivery program, providing support and connection to people living in isolation.
St Mary’s House of Welcome provided direct assistance to those homeless people who’d been placed in accommodation, with food and support. In October last year, St Mary’s reported serving more than 75,000 meals to people sleeping rough, experiencing chronic homelessness and severe social isolation.
- Fr Bill