Yesterday, the Church celebrated the beginning of a new liturgical Year. Pope Francis, the pope of charity for the poor, remarked that it is all about a new beginning for the whole Church And the entire humanity. He says “We rediscover the beauty of all being on a journey: the Church, with her vocation and mission, and the whole of humanity, nations, civilizations, cultures, all on a journey along the paths of time.”
We all need a new beginning especially after a poor start or a completion of a certain stage that presupposes the next. what’s important in his homily is the central figure and the role he plays in that journey of a new beginning. It is Christ, he affirms; “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus, our Shepherd, who guides us through history toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.”
This pope of the poor seems to grasp the authentic secularism to which all should subscribe. Essentially, his Chosen symbolic personages, Jesus and the Virgin Mary, are well situated in an environment of ours so often described as global village. He calls the Virgin Mary a “village girl” and “mamma” to remind us the needed simplicity virtue that is also an attitude of trusting in the gods of war who like in our globalised but secularised world, allow “swords” and “spears” to continue the displacement and death to human lives.
Rather, he challenges us to trust just in a God of Love who permits and turns instruments of warfare into implements of share and care in a human world. The “swords” can be and become, he says “ploughshares” and the “spears” can be and become “pruning hooks” with the “hope of peace” coming from the attitude of simplicity. By this, the kingdom of justice of God is served. In such wise the human world can truly be described as a global village.
It is in the village that you often find shepherds, village boys and girls, papas and mammas. And the attitude that accompanies village life is simplicity. Pope Francis has once again shown that he is the true and authentic village shepherd of a globalised world that often lacks the virtue of simplicity that even the sheep possess.
The models Pope Francis presents for our emulation are without prejudice to their importance youths. Jesus and Mary received the grace to minister to their generation with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. ln their simple outlook on life they mirror for the young people of today the model of not only starting a new beginning that can be likened to a journey. They also model today’s restive youths who revel in unemployment indicatives such as kidnapping, militancy, insurgency, armed robbery, etc. in attitudinal change or change of mindset about the destructive tendencies of these “swords” and “spears”.
The time afforded us by the new liturgical year is an opportunity to re-appraise priorities and tasks. If your task has been adding value to your life but harming the community then there’s need for you to change and embrace an attitude that leads you to consider priority task that benefits both yourself and the entire community. On the other hand, if your tasks have been benefitting both yourself and the community, you can only improve by not only giving more. But to give more to the less of society, the often forgotten of society particularly youth and elderly.
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