Preparing the ground
“In order to prepare a truly human future, it is not enough to reject evil.
We must build the common good together.” (Pope Francis)
Easter is a time to wonder at the beauty and fragility of the human person, made in God’s image - to feel the humility that comes from comprehending how much each of us is loved and the purpose that comes from understanding we are called to love.
Holy Week speaks to each of us in different ways, but its message carries the triumph of the human spirit over suffering and death, and that people matter more than things. Human beings are amazing, made to love and be free. The great paradox is that our freedom lies in our willingness to put down our own plans and take up the cross (Luke 9:23-25). If we are blessed with this transcendent awareness then we have a responsibility to be good witnesses to what it means to be a human person.
With this awareness how should we engage with the world in this time of chaos? Socially and economically the West has destabilised itself by running its economies and societies on an extreme liberal ideology that falsely claimed to be in everyone’s interests, undermining the dignity and value of human beings. It has fragmented our societies, commodified nature and dispossessed the poor. The dehumanising trends around us are morbid symptoms of a system in deep trouble. The inevitable political fallout has some way to go yet.
But God's love is more powerful than any empire. A new political settlement of the Common Good - in which the poor are involved and no longer discarded - calls for a new social covenant in which neither capital nor state dominate, but instead both are geared to serve human society. We find ourselves in an interregnum during which the work of people of goodwill is to prepare the ground. The good news is that in thousands of different ways this is already happening.
People across the churches are particularly well-placed and are stepping up to this challenge, working in different parts of the vineyard, with different competencies and gifts. It starts by inviting the poor to the table. We prepare the ground by building relationships between the estranged, strengthening civil society and fostering family life, rehumanising systems that have lost their soul, sharing the gifts of our Christian traditions and by reasserting a proper understanding of what it means to be a human person.
This is from our newsletter of 29 March 2018 To read more click here...
Jenny Sinclair is Founder Director of Together for the Common Good
Header image: Christ Carrying the Cross, Titian c1560.