The Spirit working in people can be suppressed for a time but ultimately it rises again. We live in a world where the powerful get to define the course whether others agree or not. Keeping people under control and in oppression fits a purpose for those who hold power. Those who call the powerful to reform are often silenced in one way or another. What happens when one refuses to do as power wishes? A look at Jesus gives us an idea of how much living as God wishes can ultimately cost. Yet, all over our world we see people who for political or religious reasons rebel against the stranglehold the powerful have on their lives. The leadership expected by Jesus is one that refuses to obey the games played in positions of power.
Teach me, O Lord, to understand what it really means to follow you.
How do I collaborate with “power”? How do I support those who have the courage to “speak the truth in love”?
Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.
The people who oppose your ideas are inevitably those
who represent the established order that your ideas will upset.
Anthony J. D’Angelo