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