Today, there is a special titular feast of ‘Holy Name of the Jesus’. It is a special feast for the Society of Jesus. Some words from today’s reading is significant,
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus Who, being in very nature did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature being made in human likeness.” (Phil 2: 5–7)
This reading is extremely significant in the context of today’s political, cultural and religious context. Jesus, who was God, didn’t consider his authority or power as something to be used for advantage, but he became small. Even he used his authority for the sake of the marginalized sections. Why it is particularly relevant today? (it is significant at all times).
- We are living in the world where money, power, talents are showcased in an extremely elegant way. (everything acquired by right means is okay). So I may have a right for it. (We can easily challenge it, still I don’t do it now). But the question, whether the display of my talents, power and riches helping sustainable development; whether it aids better human rights for all. If not, I think the strategy should be revised. Along with my fun and frolic, other’s life and demands should be included. (Many would find it difficult to accept, but I feel so).
- The capitalist economy believes in tickle down economics. As investments and industries increase, GDP and the world economy would grow and slowly the benefit would tickle down to lower rungs of the society. Many economists have challenged it (many may support too), and the reality is that the inequality is increasing. So Jesus invites the have’s to share/renounce for the sake of have not’s.
- It is an invitation for religious leaders (specifically Christian Priests… I am still in formation.. Still I can be included) to reduce their hunger for power and money; and to use their power, money and talents for the sake of an egalitarian society. We could say, it is equally applicable for political leaders. But I think religious and cultural leaders have the first responsibility and then we can ask the politicians to follow.
- Casteist tendencies do exist in various parts of our society (it might be implicit in Hinduism, but the other religions are not so behind). Jesus invites all those belonging to higher castes (or thinking that they are higher due to any reason) should voluntarily leave aside their privileges (which is anyway illegal) and attempt for the creation of an egalitarian group.
Ideologies, laws, statements have attempted to create equality. Surely they have achieved some amount of success. But the situation is far from anything desirable. Jesus invites for a voluntary renunciation of one’s authority, power, money for the benefit of others. (many including God’s own followers may not do, but still his appeal holds).
Reconciliation and Peace can’t be forcefully created; it can’t exist in societies with growing inequalities. It requires a special effort from some. Sharing and Caring is the moral responsibility of have’s. If you have more, you have more and you have greater responsibilities (or duties). If you don’t like them, don’t have more….