Saturday, June 29, 2013
Henri Boulad, S.J.: Injustice
In his lecture to a full-house last Friday at Jesus the King Church, the Jesuit theologian Henri Boulad, who is also a Melkite Catholic priest working in Egypt, spoke about injustice around us. He reminded his audience that we are all interconnected.
The globe is one village today, yet injustice is found in every society, whether advanced or primitive. The rich in the North are unwilling or unable to assist the poor in the South. Everyone is responsible for contributing to the welfare of everyone else. The basis of society is being eroded because of greed and selfishness. We live as independent individuals, yet cooperation is needed to advance social networking and civilization.
As Carl Jung observed in his research in psychology, the archetype, and the collective unconscious of human psyche remain intrinsically religious by nature. In our everyday lives, we are all moral animals. At work, your boss and coworkers need to communicate with you and you need to communicate with them according to the natural moral law. At home, you and your spouse raise your children according to the natural moral law. The respect you have for the elderly is also based on the natural moral law. When you buy and sell things you are bound too by the natural moral law. If you love your children and respect them as human beings, they will also imitate you when they create their families as adults.
At the centre of your being, love must grow and be fruitful. Helping each other is basic to every family and every society. In Christ, every man and woman on this globe is important. Henri Boulad traces the unique importance of everyone to the creation story of humans in Genesis. In Genesis, God creates man in his image and likeness. Every human is loved by God from conception. And Jesus tells us that everyone will be judged according to his deeds to those little brothers; for in the hungry, naked, imprisoned and sick we find Christ. "My life is a gift of God and so is yours for which we must thank God and praise him everyday" he said. Invest in your life. In the Parable of the Talents Jesus rewards the good servants who worked and invested in the gifts they were given (Luke 19: 11-28). Share what you have as the early Christian community did "There was one heart and soul in all the company of believers; none of them called his possessions his own, everything was shared in common" (Acts 4: 32).
"The more we accept injustice the more we hurt our humanity - Not because it is against the will of God but because we suffocate ourselves, our freedom and our world. And here in North America you have blessings. You typically secure everything for yourselves. Have you ever thought of those suffering in Africa and Asia?" Henri Boulad said that a man nearing retirement in Montreal said to him "I will follow you in your Christian mission in the Middle East."
Henri Boulad said "Stand up for the truth according to the natural moral law." The natural moral law is inscribed in every human conscience. The problem today lies in an illusion called individual freedom that does not carry responsibility and does not respect the other human person and cares only for "me" and my own possessions.