One nation, under God

July 7, 2008

by Fr. Pat Casey, St. John’s Catholic Church, Darwin

We have just celebrated our Independence Day. A prayer to gather us into a faith community, gathering for this occasion goes something like this.

“All powerful Father, today we rededicate ourselves to your service, and to the works of justice and freedom for all. As you have called us from many peoples to be one nation, help us to give witness in our lives, and in our life as a nation, to the rich diversity of your gifts.

“We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, Amen.”

First, we acknowledge that our Creator is all powerful, the power that has brought us into being, and the power that sustains us in living.

Next, in order to be independent, we must dedicate ourselves to God’s service, to works of justice – meaningful and equitable treatment of each other, and, according to our vision and hope, to freedom for all – for every member, every citizen, to have the right to self-determination.

Lastly, even though we are from many nations and cultures, God has called and challenged us to be one nation, which witnesses to the diversity of His gifts. We ask for God’s help, through His threefold oneness.

Our independence is a challenge – with God’s help, it can come into being.