Even though there is much frustration in the world today regarding political, economic, and social issues, there is reason for hope.
Your political ideology or your cultural background doesn’t matter. Our concerns are based on events we see all around us. Misinformation, lying, the curtailment of freedoms, the disregard for laws, our failing environment, tensions among cultures, race, gender and sexual orientation are all creating concerns worldwide. Issues such as these are being attacked or ignored. People of faith know, however, that God — although He challenges us constantly — never abandons us.
Our faith in God gives us the tools to be an example of Christ and to be part of the solution. It is incumbent upon us always to be the example that allows for change that respects personal freedoms, human rights, and a custodial approach to all of God’s creations.
We see that example demonstrated by young and old throughout the world; once obscure names — Malala Yousafzai; Greta Thunberg; and just this past week, Brandt Jean — are recent examples in the news. They show the world that every day examples of love and concern are not lost forever but exist in the hearts and souls of all of us. We simply need the courage, with God’s grace, to speak up and act.
None of these three young people were initially famous, rich, or promoted by commercial industry. Malala Yousafzai had the courage to stand up to radical fundamentalism within her faith. She put her life on the line advocating for the education of women and other human rights issues.
Greta Thunberg spoke out against the ignorance surrounding the deteriorating environment and the call for people and nations to begin now with changes to preserve the world from global warming.
Brandt Jean, the brother of a murdered black man mistaken to be an intruder, embraced his brother’s murderer, forgiving the former police officer after being convicted.
All three of these young people are examples of courage and determination to make changes in our world. Examples that we need to reflect on.
These acts of kindness and the courage to speak out occur daily in our world but not all of them make the news headlines.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we saw men and women moved by the resurrection of Jesus bring about change. Their courage in the 1st Century is an example of the courage we need today to make changes in our Church and the world around us. It all starts locally in our families, our communities, and our workplaces. Through faith that God is with us, we can all be agents of change.