Isn’t it great to, personally, be part of a packed arena of 10 000, 50 000, 80 000 or even 100 000 people. It may have been at a Rugby League State of Origin game, the recent Lions versus Wallabies game, a spiritual event like the Papal Mass at Randwick Racecourse during the Sydney World Youth Day Celebrations or even the united communal clean-up after the floods in South-East Queensland. There is something truly special about being present at such gatherings. The spirit of camaraderie, openness, unity, joy, exuberance, sense of community and togetherness is exhilarating.


I was reminded of this feeling at the recent Lions versus Wallaby game where the crowd cheered and sung throughout, creating an electric atmosphere. Such an event reminds us all that we are meant to be in unity, in unison and in community. Each of us is energised by each other’s positive spirit and sense of togetherness, regardless of the team we support or the result of the game. It’s just brilliant to be part of a gathering of positive people like this. After the game, we all joined together in celebration, regardless of the result, all better people for the experience.


Like these games and events, we are called to this same spirit of love, community and unity with all Australians, every day. This week, we celebrate NAIDOC Week and are reminded of the importance of uniting behind and with our Indigenous Australian people. We are reminded of the need to be aware of the plight of our Indigenous brothers and sisters and work together to close the gap on literacy and numeracy levels; higher rates of suicide, especially with their young; higher rates of unemployment; higher rates of deaths in custody and poor levels of health and lower than average ages of death. We are all called to be united as one Australian people, providing empathy, compassion and understanding of our Indigenous culture. We are called to remain steadfast to continue working with each other and our political leaders to examine and find ways to rectify many of these social inequalities that face them. Together, may we embrace in community, a place where we are in solidarity, united and a positive people towards each other, just like the spirit which is formed when we gather as one in these packed arenas.


Holy Father, God of Love                                                                  So that we may build a better future fo our nation.

You are the Creator of this land and all good things                  Teach us to respect all cultures.

We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history                    Teach us to care for our land and waters.

And the suffering of our peoples.                                                      Help us to share justly ther resources of this land.

And we ask your fogiveness.                                                             Help us to bring about spiritual and social change

We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures.                 To improve the quality of life for all groups in our

Our hope is in you because you gave your son Jesus                  communities,

To reconcile the world to you.                                                          Especially the disadvantaged

We pray for your strength and grace to forgive,                           Help our young people to find true dignity and self esteem

Accept and love one another,                                                           by your Spirit

As you love us and forgive and accept us                                       May your power and love be the foundations on which we

In the sacrifice of your Son.                                                               build our families, our communities and our Nation

Give us the courgae to accept the realties of our history            Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen


WontulpBi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group 13 March 1997 Brisbane, QLD

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