When we tolerate evil leaders…we destroy our children’s future
“A canoe does not know who the leader is; when it turns over, everyone gets wet.”
This proverb from Madagascar might make us smile even as we all struggle – and many suffer – from COVID-19: both rich and poor are affected in some way – the poor worse than others.
It’s unfortunate that the economic fallout from the pandemic does not hurt Leaders as much as it does the ordinary people. When leaders are affected, they respond more quickly.
You might wonder how does studying King Hezekiah help us to know Jesus and God’s love for us? The OT characters are archetypes that are revealed more fully in the New Testament. eg. Adam & King David are both types of Christ. OT archetypes reveal that God has never been absent from our lives or the life of the Community. https://www.defendingthebride.com/ch/pa/keys.html
Today’s First Reading is the removal of a corrupt Master of the Palace: in some translations he is the Treasurer of the Palace. So I, myself, better be careful!!
The Master’s job was to act in the place of the King (=regent/ agent) doing small & big tasks. The King would hand over his keys to the master. How does the Gospel fit in? Well, Christ is preparing to hand over the keys to his disciples. A King does not hand over his keys to someone who does not know who he is.
But, sometimes, power & wealth corrupt: instead of acting on behalf of the King Shebna also acted on his own behalf! Interestingly, Christ did not remove the Roman Emperor directly: that happened over time, in cooperation with people and the Holy Spirit.
Today, many countries around the world, have Master’s who also act on behalf of themselves. And their people suffer a lot. We must trust in the Wisdom of God to guide us how to act, to also remove them from Office.
Now, Christ is talking to you and I today: do we accept who Jesus Christ is? If we say YES, then we are on the team. If we imitate Christ then we will also kick a few goals and get that “winning feeling”.
However, kicking goals is not easy in football: sometimes we are badly injured. Are we ready for a few injuries to make our community a better place?
Often our injuries are emotional, intellectual & social: we can be abused or rejected for a time.
“The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion. … an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.” REDEMPTORIS MISSIO NO.1
In other words, God wants to work with us, and not do everything for us: like a good Dad patiently works with his son who is learning new skills. Sometimes the boy makes a mess, or is slow to learn. But good fathers, have patience: Dads even lose money when boys learn to drive!
A Rabbit entered a shop and asked: “Do you have carrots?” They said, “no we don’t have.” The following day the rabbit came to the shop and asked again, “Do you have carrots?” They replied angrily, “We said we don’t have carrots, if you come back again asking, we gonna screw a nail in your head with a hammer!” The third day the rabbit came yet again and asked, “Do you have a hammer? They replied, “NO.” He said, “What about nails?” They said, “NO.” Then he calmly asked, “Do you have carrots?”
We should have the same attitude to demand justice and moral behaviour in our communities: don’t give up! Just get smarter: keep asking; keep challenging (gently); & set a good example.
“A canoe does not know who the leader is; when it turns over, everyone gets wet.” We can say our leaders are not my problem and let them be: but don’t complain when you also get wet! However, when we hold our leaders to account and challenge bad behaviour, we protect the future for our family members, wider community and also ourselves.
Finally, the First Reading reminds us that no matter how smart we are, God is watching our behaviour as “Masters” in charge of whatever “palace” we live in:
eventually bad behaviour will destroy us.
To have the courage to be good “Masters” for Christ, requires us to acknowledge our ENCOUNTERS with Jesus Christ in everyday life. When something good happens, do we say: “God walked in my life today?” Or “it was luck”?
When we are forgiven by someone, “do we recognise Christ in them?”
The way we use our authority, gifts and talents depends on our answer to the question: “who is Jesus Christ, for you?” I pray we all have the humility and wisdom to recognise God walking in lives every day: it’s the main thing that gives us hope, meaning and courage.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI