The stories that I know about today’s world focus a lot on the contradictions of contemporary society, on the seriousness of the socio-cultural and economic crises, and on the decadent character of these times.
Undoubtedly they also speak of fragments of goodness and beauty, and of gestures of honesty and generosity, but all that seems to end up obscured by the power of evil, by the deterioration of life, by injustice. At the end it’s all «prophecies of doom».
We usually forget a fact that’s enormously hopeful. There’s growing in the conscience of many people a feeling of indignation in the face of so much injustice, degradation and suffering. Many are the men and women who no longer resign themselves to accept a society that’s so far from human. From their hearts spring a firm «NO» to what’s inhuman.
This resistance to evil is common to both Christians and agnostics. As the theologian from Holland E. Schillebeeckx said, you can speak of «a common front, of believers and non-believers, looking for a better world, a more human aspect» within our society.
At the base of this reaction there’s a seeking for something different, a stronghold of hope, a desire for something that we don’t see being fulfilled in our society. It’s the feeling that we can be more human, happier, better in a more just society, though always limited and precarious.
In this context the call of Jesus gains a particular relevance: «Stay awake». These are words that invite us to wake up and live more clearly, not letting ourselves be pulled along and passively formed by what is imposed on us in society.
Maybe this is what’s number one. Be proactive and keep resistance and rebellion alive. Dare to be different. Don’t do like the world. Don’t identify yourself with what’s inhuman in this society. Live in contradiction to so much mediocrity and lack of feeling. Initiate the reaction.
Two convictions need to empower us. The human being hasn’t lost the capacity of being more human and of organizing a more dignified society. And secondly, God’s Spirit keeps working in history and in the heart of each person.
It’s possible to change the mistaken direction that our society has. What is needed is that every day there are more beautiful persons who dare to introduce good sense in the midst of so much craziness, moral sense in the midst of so much empty ethics, human warmth and solidarity at the heart of so much heartless pragmatism.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf