Australia Day January 26, 2012. A Reflection by Fr.Kevin Walsh, Scripture Readings and Prayers

25 Jan

Dear One and All,

On Thursday the 26th of January, we celebrate Australia Day. This is the date of the arrival in 1788 of the first European settlers in Australia.  The liturgy marks Australia’s national day with prayers seeking God’s blessing on all its peoples and commending its destiny into God’s hands. There are some people in our country who believe that this day marks the end of freedom and Sovereignty of our Indigenous people. Yes, this is true to some extent, but I believe that we should see this in the perspective of the Imperialism of the day. If the British had not laid claim and hoisted the Flag of St.George in the area of the Tank Stream, the French would have laid claim, and hoisted their national flag within maybe a few days.

Fortunately, with the passing of the years, and the coming of age of many countries in our Global village, we do acknowledge with regret the way in which the Europeans went about laying claim to this wonderful and ancient land. However, we who have come from other lands to call Australia ‘Home’ have the responsibility of rectifying wrong doing not only to our Indigenous sisters and brothers, but to all ‘new comers’. None of us would be bold enough to say that such and such a race of people is superior to another. Modern science and genetics have shown us that every race are a ‘mixed bag’ of people, and who is naive to say that perhaps after four generations have lived in the same place, they then can be called British, Irish, Australian and so on.

The diversity of culture and race in this great crucible which we call Australia, has the opportunity to build on the foundations of our rich history, stretching back over 40,000 years. It is a time for us to figuratively embrace each other, and continue to develop the great Aussie spirit of a ‘fair go’ for all. At the same time, for newcomers pitching their tent here in Australia, it is a time to review lifestyle, and leave behind the tensions experienced in their motherlands, to share their stories and to listen to ours. It would seem to me that these are the building blocks towards true and honest Reconciliation. If we don’t have the desire to meet each other, talk, listen and accept each other, we are not within a bull’s roar of reconciliation.

The Readings and prayers that I have attached may help us to give thanks and praise to God for the people of this Great South Land.

God Bless you and your families, and next week, realhomilies will be back in business…

Fr.Kev Walsh





A reading from the prophet Isaiah     32:15-18

There will be poured on us the spirit from above; then shall the wilderness be fertile land and fertile land become forest.  In the wilderness justice will come to live and integrity in the fertile land; integrity will bring peace, justice give lasting security.  My people will live in a peaceful home, in safe houses, in quiet dwellings.

The Word of the Lord.


The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,

a voice that speaks of peace.

His help is near for those who fear him

and his glory will dwell in our land.


Mercy and faithfulness have met;

justice and peace have embraced.

Faithfulness shall spring from the earth

and justice look down from heaven.


The Lord will make us prosper

and our earth shall yield its fruit.

Justice shall march before him

and peace shall follow his steps.




A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. 12:4-11.

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit; another may have the gift of preaching instruction given him by the same Spirit; and another the gift of faith given by the same Spirit; another again the gift of healing, through this one Spirit; one, the power of miracles; another, prophecy; another the gift of recognizing spirits; another the gifts of tongues and another the ability to interpret them. All these are the work of the one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

The Word of the Lord



A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:9-16.

Do not let your love be a pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil.  Love each other as much as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other.  Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of spirit.  If you have hope, this will make you cheerful.   Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying.  If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care. Bless those who persecute you: never curse them, bless them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice and be sad with those in sorrow.  Treat everyone with equal kindness; never be condescending but make real friends with the poor.

The Word of the Lord.


A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke. 12:22-32

Jesus said to his disciples,  ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it.  For life means more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Think of the ravens.  They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses or barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more are you worth than the birds!  Can any of you, for all his worrying, add a single cubit to his span of life? If the smallest things, therefore, are outside your control, why worry about the rest?  Think of the flowers; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these.  Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, you men of little faith! But you, you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry.  It is the pagans of this world who set their hearts on these things.  Your Father well knows you need them.  No; set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given to you as well.  ‘There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.’

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew    5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

“How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven”.

The Gospel of the Lord.


Composed by Fr Kevin Walsh.c.p,  1988 The Bi-Centenary of European Settlement.

Father God,

The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit

was entrusted to a people who saw your mighty hand at work

in the majestic, rugged mountains, in the rolling plains, parched earth, flowing rivers, and thundering surf.

May we, under the guidance of your Spirit, work at reconciliation, with all the different  peoples of this land.  May we reverence the  “Dream Time” …and those wedded to this land;  May we in turn respect and heal all that we have hurt; the land, its people and wild life.

We dedicate all our efforts under the patronage of Mary Help of Christians, who always points the way to wholeness, to harmony and to Jesus. We make this our prayer to you Father, through Christ Our Lord. AMEN.


             FIRE BLESSING

An Ancient prayer- 40,000 Years Old- Handed Down Through The Aboriginal Culture And Translated Into The English Language

May the fire be in our thoughts Making them true, good and just.

May it protect us from the evil one.

May the fire be in our eyes

May it open our eyes to share what is good in life We ask that the fire may protect us from what Is not rightfully ours.

May the fire be on our lips, so that we may Speak the truth in kindness: That we may serve and encourage others.

May it protect us from speaking evil.

May the fire be in our ears

We Pray that we may hear with a deep, deep Listening so that we may hear the flow of water

And of all creation

And the Dreaming

May we be protected from gossip and from things That Harm and break down our family.

May the fire be in our Arms and Hands

So that we may be of service and build up love.

May the Fire protect us from all violence.

May the fire be in our whole Being

­In our legs and in our feet.

Enable us to walk the earth With reverence and care.

So that we may walk in the way of goodness And truth and be protected from walking away from

What is truth.

A Gift from Burnum Burnmum 12/6/1996



Prayers of the Faithful


LEADER:            “Happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of God”.

On Australia day we give thanks for our country, its people and its beauty. We ask God’s blessing on Australia.



1.               For a spirit of thanksgiving. (Pause).                                                                       

Australia is the Land of the Holy Spirit.  May we be a people who are thankful for the gifts of the Spirit, for the bounty of the land, for the many cultures and people. Lord, hear us:  Lord, hear our prayer.



2.               For a spirit of tolerance.    (Pause).

Australia is gifted in the variety of its people.  May we respect all the people of Australia with a special              concern for the first inhabitants of our land;  and may we rejoice in the variety of gifts God has given to our land. Lord, hear us:  Lord, hear our prayer.                                                  

3.               For a spirit of justice and peace.  (Pause).


Australia is a land blessed by God.  May we show our gratefulness to God by our resolve to live by the Gospel, concerned for justice in our country, especially towards those whom society rejects.                                                   (Pause).

Lord, hear us:                             Lord, hear our prayer.                                                 


4.               For a spirit of being content with what God gives.  (Pause).


Jesus declares happy those who are poor in spirit. May we be thankful for God’s gifts, content with what we have and at peace with God and our land. Lord, hear us:   Lord, hear our prayer.                                              

LEADER:God of all creation, we praise you and thank you for our country.  May we all live in peace, respecting one        another in mutual love. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, our Lord.  Amen.










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