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Journey 36 - Summer 2008

The Summer 2008 edition of Journey features 'An experience in Tanzania' and a reflection by Bishop Peter on the Synod in Rome on the Word of God.

Being Faithful in a Global Financial Crisis

As the global financial crisis takes hold, people naturally fear for their economic security. Those already struggling become more fearful of what tomorrow holds.
What does our faith offer to our current financial landscape? The 2008 Australian Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement exhorts us to consider our treatment of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in this land of plenty. We are called to recognise those in need and respond accordingly.
Yet as financial pressures loom, does our generosity also need to be constrained? Our bishops suggest that our material response is only part of our obligation:

To a consumerist society, the message of the Eucharist is counter-cultural. Where consumerism drives us to acquire more and be forever concerned about material gain, in Christ we are offered a deeper fulfilment in relationship with him and one another. Christ calls us, as he did the rich young man in the Gospel of Mark, not to have more but to be more. (ACBC Social Justice Statement 2008, p13)

So then, the faith that carries us through this time of financial uncertainty is not simply praying that God will pull us through. Certainly we pray, but the demands of our faith never waiver regardless of whether we are in times of excess or down to our last dollar. We are called to be God-centred not money-centred. Being God-centred allows us to constantly surrender – generously and gratefully - whatever we have to God’s care. After all, we are merely stewards of the gifts God has entrusted to us - and our possessions and money are only a small part of what we have been given. We have our friendships, our natural talents and our very lives.
What is our Christian response in these times of uncertainty? It is the same as always. We are to love God and one another, sharing what we have in time, in talent and treasure, especially with the most vulnerable. For we recognise true poverty is to be denied the love of God and neighbour. In offering to love both God and one another, we ensure the world remains precious, regardless of what crises beset it.

  • Thursday, 21 June 2012
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