Ordinary time B, week 15, Mt 11, 25-27
“Take off your shoes, the ground on which you stand is holy!” God said to Moses. God says similar words to us. The ground on which we stand is Holy - with or without shoes. Most primitive communities had a great sense of the sacredness of the land. Listen to extracts from a Letter by Chief Seattle to the Us Government in 1854
"The President in Washington wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the earth is sacred. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy. We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony and man all belong to the same family. The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. Give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother. The air is precious, it shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind gives our children the spirit of life. If we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where people can go to taste the wind sweetened by the meadow flowers. The earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the children of the earth. The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. Our God is also your God. The earth is precious to God. To harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us and to you. There is only one God. No man, be he Red or White, can be apart. We ARE all brothers/sisters after all."
by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a