Wonderfully, our world has enough food for everyone. There are problems of distribution but they are being solved by intelligent and compassionate people. We pray with and for those who inspire us but we despair of those who see advances as selfish opportunities for being powerful and wealthy and of those in poorer societies who make self-promotion as their motivation rather than the common good.
We understand the ideals of the United Nations, we see the separation of individual nations, we watch self-interest – political, business, religious – dominate the lives of people around the world.
We Christians are the gospel (‘good news’) who seem to have failed to bring Christ’s message of love to a world that understandably decries the self-proclaimed power of ruling rather than serving. The Catholic Church has many members who live from the heart but its selfperpetuating authority remains in control. The frightening abuse of children and women (in common with similar abuse elsewhere) is today the greatest scandal afflicting the Mystical Body of Christ, male sexual appetites satisfied at the cost of many ruined lives. The world loved by God does not see God’s love in the Catholic Church.
We pray and long for the call to be ‘Christ’s “love one another” people’ to be lived. It is! We see it every day in genuine family love and support, in our serving one another in many small ways, believers and non-believers united in God’s love. Why can’t people with power live that simple love? It seems institution is more important to them than people are, a dreadful misjudgement. Sacramental practice is acceptable in place of sacramental living, the hatch-match-dispatch mentality is alive in the minds of clericalism as much as ever, whilst our people are hungry for living-giving bread.
If you won the lottery would you give the money to those who have suffered abuse, to the bishops and their financial advisers, to local food kitchens, to the desperately poor in the UK, to the even poorer in other parts of the world, to your local sports team to buy new players, to social programmes, to your safe bank deposit?
Political parties here and around the world appeal for donations, reminding us of the need to win elections as a prelude to making any changes. Would you lie to win votes, starve people into submission, obliterate your enemies instead of working for reconciliation?
Choose your world leaders. You see the present crop in business, religion, politics. How many would you choose or reject, whom would you consult and trust, whom would you be glad to work with because they are people of integrity? I have a short list of five if I were asked that question and I would be happy to leave them to work with people who, they know, share their ideals for a just world: two are British, one Portuguese, one Argentinian, one North American.
Jesus started with four.
God bless us to live the Gospel,
(27th August 2023)