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'The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.'

Edmund Burke


In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a parable about a man who entrusted his servants with various talents while he went on a journey. When he returned he found that two of his servants had put their talents to work and made more, while one had hidden his talent in the ground. The master was pleased with those who had used their talents to his benefit, but was very angry with the servant who had played it safe and done nothing with the talent he had been given.

What talents have we been entrusted with? According to this parable we are under strict obligation to use whatever we have for good. One "talent" that in most cases is hidden underground and sat on, is the power that each of us has as citizens of a democratic country. And I don't mean only that we should vote, though, of course we should, and for the party which will make the world a better place for all, not just for ourselves. I also mean that as moral, thinking beings, we have a duty to take part in the shaping of our country's policies.

If we never write to our MP, sign a petition about a moral issue, or shop ethically, our government will assume that all we are interested in is how much money we have to spend at the end of the week and maybe how long we have to wait for an op. on the NHS. Do you think Jesus calls us to care about more than this? About the starving in war-torn Africa, the decimation of rainforests, the inhumane treatment of factory-farmed animals, the violence on our TV screens?

By being born in this country we have all been entrusted with the power to do something about the issues that God has put on our hearts. Sometimes all we can do is to pray, but in many, many more cases there are actual things we can do that will work with our prayers towards changing things for the better. God works through us, not for us.

And if we don't? Evil will triumph.

And look at the world - it has! So many of the problems in our world are because people like us sit around and allow suffering to happen.

Much third world poverty is due to agricultural subsidies to Europe and the US and other unfair trade practices. Wars are fuelled by the extraction of minerals and by the availability of weapons many of which are exported from the UK. Our ready meals are made of meat imported from countries that have no animal husbandry standards. If enough of the electorate wrote to their MPs on these issues our government would have to become more ethical and compassionate.

Let's be the good and faithful servants of Mathew 25 and use the democratic power that has been entrusted to us to make our world a more heavenly place.

May top tip: Think about the meaning of the prayer of St. Teresa and sign the next petition that you agree with.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which must look out Christ's compassion on the world.
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now."


ACTION: Use this in your church magazine

 

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