Light on a hilltop as ray of hope to lead
“You are the light of the World. A city set on hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.
By Bishop George Palliparampil SDB, Miao
“You are the light of the World. A city set on hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. Mt. 5: 14-16
Living in a world that can still not be called ‘post covid’, the arrival of the vaccines is a ray of hope. Along with this hope we have another sign of hope in our Catholic Faith, more than ever at this time. Pope Francis, ever since his election on 13th March 2013, has been providing leadership not only to the church, but is also an unquestioned leader of the whole world. He has not hesitated to speak out on every occasion and in every situation beginning with the disorders in the church; he emphasizes the right attitude towards family, and voices his concern about the young, the environment, women and all other points that help to demolish evil systems and install the reign of God, fullness of humanity.
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of Portugal, a faithful Catholic, being elected as the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 13th October 2016 and taking charge on 1st January 2017 was a significant turn in the history of global leadership that qualitatively and quantitatively affected all the nations.
The election of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., fondly known as Joe Biden, another Catholic with conviction and commitment to principles is another ray of hope. On 20th January 2021 when he took charge of that most powerful office on earth, the world gazed in hope at the course of events since all three men were known for their faith, their commitment to the environment, women’s empowerment, and establishment of justice for all people without discrimination.
The Pope has made his stand very clear through his apostolic teachings, encyclicals, exhortations and talks on various occasions. Evengelii Gaudium, Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti summarize his world-vision. “A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be” said, Roselyn Carter decades ago. This is the uphill task these men who lead the world are confronted with. Struggle for political and economic power, business interests and absolute disrespect for life and values are what the rich and powerful minority of the world wants. The lofty ideas are being dashed to the ground everywhere. It is in this mode of life that Francis, Guterres and Biden, bound by the common faith and God, ask us to go out to others and insist on seeing God in people especially the sick, poor and marginalized.
Putting things right within oneself and one’s own immediate surrounding is what all three of them have been calling for. Pressures from within whether it be the curia, the political party they belong to or other issues never made them bend and compromise on principles. That is the hope the world has today, with these three Catholics on top of the world leadership. “Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere”; declared Antonio Guterres on 2nd December 2020. Just re-echoing what the Pope says all through the Laudato si! When Biden pledged himself to be part of the world environment efforts, he has made the same clear.
This healthy environment that the Lord has given for the good of the world has to be guarded and used wisely and prudently. Each of them has to be healthy combinations of their particular office and the world stage. With these three experienced and convinced world leaders, we have hope for tomorrow.
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