Pastor’s Corner for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, by Rev. Billy Davies

As Christians, how are we meant to respond to the past week’s events in Israel?

As I’ve followed the attack on Israel by Hamas (not the Palestinians) and watched news reports and social media postings of the murdering of innocent people and the retaliation of the Israeli army also killing civilians, I have been filled with probably the total spectrum of my human emotions at what I’ve heard, read and seen. From rage to sadness, to pity, to confusion, the emotional rollercoaster continued. In the face of such inhumanity, it becomes easy to allow our emotions to run wild – to criticise, judge and condemn. In all this, I wasn’t sure what to pray for – peace or punishment, justice or revenge.

In all my confusion and doubt, and like many of you, I tried to find God in all this. But mindful of the approaching deadlines for this Pastor’s Corner and homily, I turned to our readings, and it was there that I found consolation in His plan for us all. I was filled with hope and trust in God’s plan and clarity in our responsibility and role in bringing together His banquet of nations.

In response to the horrific reports and events of this week, the readings are a lifeline to hope in our seemingly morally bankrupt world. The vision seen by Isaiah on the mountain is a vision of God’s generous plan for all people of the earth. To take us all to His Kingdom, to be a fellowship of all nations in peace, joy and unity where God will wipe away all the tears of His people. Jesus reinforces this in the Gospel when He compares the Kingdom of God to a wedding banquet. In the invitations of the king hosting the marriage feast, Jesus reveals that God is at work in the world to take us ALL to the Kingdom, where we will be equally included, and no one will feel left out or marginalised. But God’s plan for all humanity requires that we work with God to realise it. It is not enough that we know about God’s plan; we must all work to apply it; it is not enough that we say, “Thy Kingdom come”. It is us who must work to bring it about. We must do it.

So again, how do we pray in response to these dreadful events and occurrences?    Our Gospel Acclamation helps us here: “May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts that we might know what is the hope to which He has called us.”

May God help us to recognise and accept that He invites us to work with Him to bring about His Kingdom. May we, like Saint Paul, know there is nothing we cannot overcome with the help of the One who gives us strength. Like Saint Paul, we, too, must trust that the Lord is with us always, and we must trust that there is no situation so chaotic that God cannot turn it around into something good. It is when we have nothing left that we learn that the Lord is enough. May peace, love and justice prevail.




Rev William (Billy) Davies