On November 15, 2009, the Australian Prime Minister apologised for what had happened to nearly 500,000 young Australians who grew up in state and church orphanages, particularly from the late 1930s to the late 1960s. “We look back with shame,” the Prime minister said, “that so many of you were left cold, hungry and alone and with nowhere to hide and with nobody, absolutely nobody, to whom to turn.”
On February 13, 2008, the same prime minister apologised to the Aborigines of Australia for their treatment over the last 220 years. He addressed parliament and the nation saying: “For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry. To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.”
Through today’s feast the Church is highlighting not only the world’s longing for a redeemed humanity but it is proclaiming the hope that it is already among us. The Immaculate Conception is an invitation to participate in God’s redeeming of the world.
Sing a new song to the Lord- Psalm 98:1
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation
Gracious God, amidst this world’s confusion we recognise Mary, the shining light whom you chose to be mother to your Son. May the drought-breaking rains of redemption that poured over her living and dying also pour over your people, seeding in us our hope who is Christ the Redeemer. Amen.
You tell us …- From “To Our Lady” by Kevin Hart
of the horizons of dust
that cry to the clouds ‘Give us your fullness
and let us live’.