If we increase hope by being witnesses of TRUTH … the world will be a happier (healthier) place for all
In recent months we have all seen the power of BIG TECH companies deciding what’s “truth” and what is not TRUTH. It’s been very disturbing how they are able to use their unregulated power to silence the TRUTH, as Christianity has taught for centuries: respect for life, Natural Law and Family Life, etc.
So, as we celebrate the Kingship of Jesus Christ, let’s not get lost in sweet words and songs. Let’s talk about Christ’s Leadership, given to everyone: we lead by acting with the TRUTH.
The best praise and appreciation we can give to Christ, our King, is to be good “leaders.” Our best “song” will be the “dance” we do in public: the words and actions that help others. And what sort of leaders are “good” according to the model of Jesus Christ ?
Kingship, in the scriptures, always refers to “shepherding” and “doing justice” for the people. And they required Wisdom from above, which was mediated through the Prophets (=Church).
So, already we have three lessons about being good leaders:
- We need Wisdom to be a good leader – being able to act in a moral way that benefits all others: we need to learn knowledge and language (humility); and we need to be open to correction: often the prophets spoke to correct the Kings.
- We shepherd with the TRUTH – we try not to force people to do things: with Wisdom and knowledge, we are able to reveal the future “benefits” of change.
- We work for JUSTICE for people – we act justly ourselves: and we stand in solidarity with those who need justice: eg. Environmental Activists.
The Gospel passage today is tricky: it’s not just a drama of two Kings arguing. We know, today, that Jesus Christ is the King. But Pilate did not.
There is a key difference between the model of King that Pilate gives, and the model of Jesus. Pilate thinks it’s normal to sacrifice others to protect himself. Christ thinks it normal to sacrifice Himself to protect others.
Let’s think about that for a moment. How do we “sacrifice” others to get what we want? Perhaps USING would make more sense these days: how do we use other people?
The situation still exists around the world today: in Africa we see the leaders who act like Pilate: holding power through violence and cheating in order to protect themselves. It also happens in rich countries, but it’s more “dignified” (more hidden): eg. embarrassing opposition leaders by leaking scandals and half-truths.
Jesus tells us that His Kingdom is not of this world: this does not mean what it sounds like: that God is an alien to us. By “this world” Jesus refers to our “broken humanity” = UNTRUTH
God is present with us, but it is at a different level to the behaviour of “broken humanity.” God’s Kingdom is very much with us, but separated from us by: TRUTH & JUSTICE.
When we live in the TRUTH, we enter into God’s Kingdom here on earth. When we deal in “lies” and keeping quiet in the face of evil, we live in the “broken” world, and contribute to the unhappiness in society and in our own lives.
One of the key elements of good leadership is Subsidiarity: delegating functions and authority to others according to their capacity, location and situation. God wants to involve every single person. Why? Because being involved gives dignity and purpose in life: it builds the important emotional need: involved & active = BELONGING.
- delegating action to many Agents: do our parishes promote youth justice groups?
2. providing “Wisdom” to those Agents; do our parishes provide training on JUSTICE issues?
3. providing support for victims of INJUSTICE; do our parishes have a network of carers?
Let’s go out and reflect on our “leadership” style: as older sister/ brother; as Chief; as Mum or Dad; as senior student; as teacher, as priest, as Religious, as nurse; as scientist; or as youth.
Instead of always blaming the Church for not acting, can we blame ourselves for keeping quiet? If, as members of the Church, we speak up and offer ourselves to help, TRUTH will increase, and happiness will increase for society and ourselves.
Are we living in the TRUTH? Is it time for us to cut our ties with FACEBOOK/ WHATSAPP and look for alternatives? eg. SIGNAL. Is it time for intelligent youth to create a new social media platform that promotes Christian values and upholds the NATURAL LAW?
May the Feast of Christ the King, encourage us to lead others by invitation and example. So that the TRUTH is available to all people, giving them true freedom.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI