I am writing a blog after a very long time. I was a little lazy as I was learning French. I realize that it might not have been a great decision. Today, it is the feast day of St Peter Claver, a Jesuit known as the Slave of the Slaves (title is not ceremonial, but literally used for him). I know that he may not be one of the most famous Jesuit saints, but one of them who identified so much with Jesus. Pope Leo XIII who canonized him said that, “after the life of Jesus, the life of St Peter Claver influenced him the most.” For more details, i think you should read about him. A modern example in that league of persons would be Mother Theresa of Kolkata. A saint who lived actually what Jesus wanted, and tried to help the others to live their life a little better(really a little better for the slaves). It might be nowhere close to the promise of Jesus; [I came so that you have life and life in its abundance]. But surely he tried his best to make that promise a little more reality in the lives of lakhs (literally again) of slaves. So that is the first context of this article.
I am reading a book titled “A Society without God” by Phil Zuckerman. [title of the book might be scandalizing; but the content should scandalize the religious; if not, there is a problem]. Zuckerman, an American sociologist speaks of his experience of living in Denmark and Sweden, two Scandinavian countries with high ratings in happiness index, very less economic inequality (India and US, two religious countries have high and growing rates), low crime rates (jails are empty) and very good care for the old and dying. Even their social security schemes are very good. Now it is not a new revelation that Scandinavian countries are very good with this. Most of the people there call themselves Christians (but literally Cultural Christians), but it is good to see that they fulfill many of the last Judgement criteria (with less poverty, less suffering, greater care and love for others, less criminal attitudes and so on). Some might be eager to point out that they don’t believe. Yes, that’s true.
For me, when I was reading the book, the sentiment was… The lives of Scandinavian people are a prophetic witness to Christians (and even other religious) that we live such a good life. Why you follow people like Jesus who promised fullness of life, but can’t even reach anywhere close to that? It is definitely a shame and an urgent invitation to the Church and Christians to follow Jesus radically and help yourselves and others to experience the fullness of life (life in abundance) in some form here and now (not to wait till we reach heaven). It is an invitation for us to become relevant today by being radical disciples of Jesus.
LOVE, JOY, COMPASSION, CARE, SHARING, BEAUTY, FREEDOM…. We should try to make our lives filled with these realities. We might immediately counter that we are a minority; but yeast is also minority in many preparations. The first christian community was a minority. In places, where we are majority, it should be all the more easy.