Last Sunday we welcomed Fr. Bob Holmes to St Aidan’s as our preacher. Bob is a Basilian monastic, and longtime member of Christian Peacemaker Teams. He has been involved in peace and justice work all over the world, and here in Canada.
Bob spoke to us about how to see with a different perspective by seeing through others’ eyes – especially the eyes of the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed and forgotten. When we read the gospels through their eyes we hear the words of God in fresh and important ways.
Here is Bob’s re-reading of part of Sunday’s gospel about John the Baptist’s call for the people to repent and turn back to God:
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Luke 3:4)
Re-reading and re-imagining the biblical text today from an Indigenous point of view in Canada
In the 8th year of the reign of Brian Mulroney as Prime Minister of Canada,
when Mike Harris was the Premier of Ontario,
and Mel Lastman the Mayor of Toronto.
The word of the Great Spirit came to Judy DeSilva
in the deep forest, north of Kenora.
She planted her feet firmly on the lumber road and cried out in a loud voice,
“No more clear-cutting on our traditional land!”
She proclaimed a time of blockade against resource theft,
and a time of repentance for broken treaties.
She said, “I can see a new way forward.
A straight path towards justice for the people, and for the land, and for the water.
A time when the barren clear-cuts grow tall again, with an abundance of trees
and all the animals and birds return home again.
A time when the waters of the rivers will be pristine again
free from toxic mercury poisoning .
A time when treaties will be respected, and free, prior and informed consent
of the Indigenous peoples will be assured
before their sacred land or water Is considered for resource extraction
which is environmentally safe and of social benefit for all
Then, and only then, righteous peace will be established on Turtle Island.”
The Good News according to the prophet of Turtle Island