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Wednesday, 17 July 2013 21:44

A vote for justice that puts people first

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The love of Christ offers us no alternative but to do justice, to love with compassion, and to walk in humble partnership with our God!

ACBC: Vote for the Common Good

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in its recent publication, Vote for the Common Good, reminds us that “We need to take our democratic freedoms seriously and become involved in the political process”.

The Bishops offer a very clear way to determine how we will vote:

We encourage Catholics to look beyond their own individual needs to apply a different test at the ballot box – the test of what we call the common good. The good of the individual and the good of society as a whole must be brought together in harmony. When they are, we have the common good.

Catholic tradition holds that the common good is underpinned by the promotion and protection of human dignity. Implicit in seeking the common good is the desire to serve the poor, the marginalised, the sick and the forgotten in our community.  -Australian Catholic Bishops Conference: Vote for the Common Good

Vote for the Common Good provides information on current issues and provides ten principles of Catholic Social Teaching. It reminds us to “pray for our political leaders as they prepare for the upcoming election, that they will always serve the good of the whole nation”.

Catholic Religious Australia

As we know, Catholic social teaching promotes a vision of a just society that is grounded in biblical revelation, the teachings of the leaders of the early church, and the wisdom gathered from experience by the Christian community as it has responded to social justice issues through history. It gives us a way of life, enabling us to reflect on the world today and to identify the presence of God and our response.

In the weeks ahead, CRA Justice Network will provide information and the opportunity to reflect on some of the key issues, especially justice for Indigenous Australians and people seeking asylum, and caring for creation. Following is a “Reflection and Prayer” for the Election:

Reflection and Prayer

The spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me.  

He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, 

to proclaim liberty to captives, 

recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, 

to announce a year of favour from the Lord.

Luke 10

Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.  - Justice in the World, Synod of Bishops, 1971

Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing...

Faith also helps us to devise models of development which are based not simply on utility and profit, but consider creation as a gift for which we are all indebted; it teaches us to create just forms of government, in the realization that authority comes from God and is meant for the service of the common good. -Pope Francis, Encyclical: Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), July 2013

Can we read the signs of the times in our world, participating in its joys and concerns?

Can we be and proclaim the living gospel through our life of service, collaboration and solidarity, transforming ourselves and the world into the reign of God?

Let us pray

All loving and ever-present God,

You encircle us with Your wisdom and inspire us with Your Word.

Look with love on us, the people of Australia,

as we prepare to vote in the coming Federal Election.

Send Your Spirit to guide us in our decisions

that they may be in harmony with Your vision for Australia.

Enlighten the hearts and the minds of all engaged in this process,

so that true freedom and good leadership for Australia will be achieved.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son,

who lives with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever.