Pentecost and Politics
We have been experiencing uncertain times in our country in recent months and years. It is not rocket science to conclude that the uncertainty has made life difficult for many ordinary people. Strong and differing opinions, often equally well-argued and convincingly held, have brought tension into both family and social life. There has been understandable and widespread frustration at the way our elected representatives have gone about their responsibilities. Few benefit from uncertainty and a loss of direction, and those who do are unlikely to be the friends of civilised society, nationally or internationally.
It is hard not to think of the story of the tower of Babel in relation to what’s been happening. We seem to be in a sort of chaos, maybe not of our own making, but of the making of those who ought instead to have been bringing a sense of order to things. Still, I suppose it is too easy, if understandable, to criticize from the side-lines. Surely, we can hope that at least some in the political class do genuinely want to put country before party interests?
To the chaos of the many languages of Babel, reflected in the multiple ethnic groups and nationalities present in Jerusalem on Pentecost Sunday, the Church can bring the order, the wisdom, the understanding and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. She cannot, and must not, of course, offer anything approaching a political solution, but she must certainly pray for an outpouring of the Spirit upon our leaders and representatives tasked with finding that political solution. The Church can also certainly urge public servants to call on their deepest moral, spiritual and civic virtues and to put these at the service of the nation.
I have, in the exercise of my own right as a citizen, written in the past to this or that politician to express my views. If I get a response, it is usually just a set piece. What I can say is, though, that even if a politician won’t listen to my citizen’s voice, the Lord will listen to my voice provided I pray with sincerity and charity, asking Him to guide our leaders and politicians in the ways of His providence. Certainly, they might still resist the Spirit, but even if they do, the Lord will not be mocked or thwarted. The decisions of His heart will prevail in the end.
I have heard a number of people tell me, rather amusingly, how they have been shouting at their TV screens when following this or that item or discussion on Brexit. Well, go on then, shout with all your might, but direct your energies upwards. You will probably get a better result!