Monday, 19 June 2017 15:38

Makarrata

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Australian aboriginal dot paintingRecently I read a couple of opinion pieces in the newspaper about our Indigenous history. Both mentioned the word ‘Makarrata’, a Yolngu word meaning, ‘a coming together after a struggle’. The word has stayed with me, not only because it is a reminder of the ongoing struggle our Indigenous brothers and sisters grapple with, but also of struggles in our own lives.

How does this resonate with you? Have you ever found yourself in an ongoing struggle of some type? It might have been with your spouse, a child or in the workplace. Maybe you are currently experiencing a long-standing feud or tension. Such disharmony can make life quite miserable. We might wonder how on earth will we ever resolve the tensions. On the other hand, we might believe it is the other person’s fault, and resolutely decide not to make any move towards healing the situation. Unfortunately, the other party might also be thinking the same as you, and thus a ‘coming together’ is unlikely.

Such struggles are not new. There is no doubt in my mind that long-standing struggles existed when Jesus walked the earth (e.g. between the Jews and the Gentiles). Jesus was no fool; he understood that divisions between people, cultures and countries were a difficult fact of life. But it was his great desire we should be at peace with one another. His greatest wish was that we would love one another (John 13:34-35).

Trying to live life in the midst of an ongoing struggle can eat away at you. An honest desire to heal the struggle is the first step towards ‘coming together’. If you have a desire to end the disharmony, even if it is not your fault, then take heart that God will be there to support you. You just have to ask.

 

This article is part of Faith Journey, a newsletter from the National Centre for Evangelisation.

Subscribe to Faith Journey here.

Shane Dwyer

Shane Dwyer is the Director of the National Centre for Evangelisation, of which the Catholic Enquiry Centre is a part. 

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