CHAPTER I: DARK CLOUDS COVER THE WORLD
Pope Francis describes the sad state of the world, it is very depressing. He observed that there is manipulation and deformation of concepts such as democracy, freedom, and justice. According to an American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens and the rule of law. However, the danger of it is oftentimes leaders became fascist and populist. They went to extreme as the voice of the poor and insinuate them to fight against the rich that cause division and disarray. Freedom is often misinterpreted as individual right to choose between the right and wrong; good and bad rather than understanding it as the power given to us by God so that we can personally choose and promote the good in the light of the divine law. Development and justice are seemingly promoted especially by rich countries but oftentimes poor countries are prone to their manipulations. They became their slaves through debts and resources which consequently trapped them to unemployment and poverty like dumping contraceptives to the third world countries as requirement for monetary loans. The culture of waste is the elephant in the room. A lot of stuff in our fridge and closet that sometimes we have food stocks for more than a year while families in poor countries have no enough food even for a day. Even the way we eat, a lot of leftovers in our plates. In our closet, sometimes we cannot even our winter gears for the whole winter season. I am guilty of it.
This is also the very same situation that was mentioned in the gospel. When those sent by John came to Jesus to inquire about Him, He said, the blind received their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear and the dead are raised. Story repeats itself so to speak. Our situation right now is exactly the same situation in the time of Jesus Christ. Dark clouds are indeed covering the world. No particular individual should be blamed with all these disaster and misfortunes that the world is experiencing right now because it is deeply embedded in the human. We can neither blame the powerful countries for not sharing their resources to poor countries nor the poor countries due to their population explosion that is why they are poor. It is in the corrupt practices that is killing us.
Somebody who is not in our situation is the one who can surely liberate us from this hopeless situation. We cannot give light when we are part of the darkness. Once again same question we need to ask, are you the One who is to come or are we to wait for another? We are invited to focus our attention to Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the world. He is the Emmanuel God is with us.
Perhaps, people might ask, if Christ is the light but why is it we can hardly get out from this depressing situation? Saint Augustine said, God cannot save us without us. Have you already accepted the light?