Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” With this line from John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, a period of renewed hope was ushered in for the American people and the free world. This is relevant food for thought for us today.
In his 2017 interview with El Pais, Pope Francis emphasized the need for us to carry a conversation, to talk to one another about what is going on in the world. He added, “The danger is that in times of crisis, we look for a savior.”
The Pope discussed what seemed like a prophetic warning. Citing the renewed populist movements in Europe, he cautioned that these movements are very different from the populist movements in Latin America, which were genuine movements from the ordinary people. The European movements, as well as those in other parts of the world, were more akin to fascist movements.
The same situation was what gave rise to Hitler. Duly elected by his people, the young charismatic leader was the promise of change for his people, but, in the words of the Pope, “he destroyed his people” and was responsible for one of the darkest chapters in human civilization.
It times of crisis we must stop looking for the great leader who will save us, but rather look within to search for what we can do to make our world, our society better. We must discover the faith, goodness and power to change—to make things better—within us. Then act with integrity to make our “corner of the sky” better.
Today’s Gospel, where Christ is rejected by His own people, has an important underlying message to us. For God’s grace to be effective, we must have faith or as Robert Johnson put it, “the Grace of God is always available, but man must ask for it before it is effective.”
This requires faith. Faith in our self, that we are basically good and thus what we ask for is for the good of all and aligned with the core of the one we ask from.
What is the grace we must ask for? Renewed faith in ourselves, individually and as a people, as capable of doing good and effecting the change in our community. This calls for a shift in our mindset to develop a a sense of community, a sense of civic duty.
It is the faith that our own efforts, no matter how seemingly small, are building blocks of good that lead to the betterment of our community, our larger society, and our world.
It is faith in one another, that we all have a share in making our world better, and that working together we can make a difference.
‘The mighty deed’
“So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” For God’s grace—his “mighty deed”—to work, we must trust and believe in the power of grace to effect change for the good of all.
There is no one great leader who is the savior of his people because there is only one savior, and He empowered us to inspire and empower others. “By this [all] will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13: 35) –CONTRIBUTED