Blog & Pastor Letters

Dreams of Changing the World

09-29-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

I recently saw a quote that summarized how I was feeling that morning after morning Mass. It says, "When you are young, you dream of changing the world. But when you are old, you regret that you could not even change yourself." I can't remember the author of this quote, but I found the words applicable about the imbalances in the world. We have the poor, so do we also have the rich.

There are those who live in violent environments and those who live in relatively peaceful locations. I have read about war crimes; people running away from war regions or people starving to death because they have no food to eat. On the other hand, there are people who enjoy abundant wealth with dreams of a more luxurious life. It is not a crime to be poor or to be rich. It is only human to wonder why these imbalances exist, and then we theorize on how to close the gaps.

Perhaps you can relate with the above scenario. As an adult, I know better now that it is not that easy to change the world in a flash. But I can do something to help that process. I can start by doing something positive in realizing this big dream of changing the world. The rich man in the gospel did not do anything to change the conditions of poor Lazarus when he had the chance to do so. The rich man said to God, "Then I beg you, father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment." God replied him, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." The conversation between God and the rich man is a story Jesus told to remind humanity to be accountable with their wealth, intelligence, faith, etc. The reason for this story was to teach us that change begins with me. In order to change the world, I must begin by changing myself.

From the foundations of the world, every child dreamt of being a hero. Prophet Habakkuk dreamt of that. He saw the violence of his day and said, "Destruction and violence are before me; there is no strife, and clamorous discord. Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily." And of course, the prophet wrote it down for us to read thousands of years after him. God has spoken to every generation of human beings to reform their lives by closing the gaps in human existence. Yet, for selfish reasons, we pay no attention to what God says.

The apostles knew about these imbalances in the world, and they acknowledged their inability to overcome them without the power of God. So, they said to Jesus, "Increase our faith." Jesus encouraged them to have faith. This word 'faith' should be understood loosely as believing in God to help me be positively engaged with others around me.

Simply put, I can do one positive deed for somebody knowing that God will smile from heaven and say to me, "Keep at it my child!" By doing a positive deed, the world becomes connected with men and women whose only goal is working hard to make the big difference.

St. Teresa of Calcutta in her midlife understood what God wanted from her and she went ahead to start caring for the weak, the aged, and the abandoned. She did exactly what she believed in and today she is known as a saint. The Sisters of Charity continue her mission and vision of helping others. Sophia Bush said, "You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously." Learn to say to yourself, 'I am work in progress in changing something in the world.' What have you been doing lately?

Keep praying!