Pause and reflect

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One thought on “Pause and reflect

  1. September 11, 2011 – Homily South Sydney Uniting Church.

    One commentator writes of this for-giving (he calls it compassion) that “it cannot be calculated and … allows for no feelings of superiority over” others (John Queripel). We might add that it allows for no feelings of inferiority in respect of others either. It loves first and in a way that remains open to grace.

    The parable of Jesus points beyond the inter-personal. We are all somewhat familiar with the issue of third world debt and calls made for debt-forgiveness. Often these huge debts are incurred by corrupt governments either as means of self-enrichment or for military defence – a defence, sometimes, to safeguard them against their own people. The repayment of these debts, often enforced on legitimate successor governments, comes at the expense of social services for their own people, services such as sanitation, health, education and housing. Our near neighbour Indonesia is a case in point. It has a foreign debt, largely incurred under the Suharto regime, strongly supported by governments of this country for so long, of $US141 billion, representing one third of its annual Gross Domestic Production. That country is forced to repay $US20 billion each year in servicing the debt. In comparison only $1.5 billion is spent on health. This debt-repayment is forced on a country with the third highest level of tuberculosis in the world, and where 100 million people live on less than $2 per day. The Jubilee movement, the name coming from a Hebrew-biblical principle of debt-forgiveness (seven times seven years, plus one, equals fifty years), has been working, often successfully, to have governments implement fairer policies in respect of debt. Economically, then, we might learn something more of forgiveness and love.

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