“Children” needed for this historical moment in the history of our city
Every time I turn to the second page of a certain English daily, I see a hidden warning “beware of the dog”. Not a few times I had to overcome the temptation of answering those high sounding platitudes! This time it is barking again at me. (July 5 issue). Poor guy, how can such a this-worldly man understand the father-son relation between Pope Francis and me?!
Anyway I can agree with the definition of “fanaticism”, quoted by him. “Fanatic is one who won’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” But then, the first half of the definition corresponds to the virtue of constancy or coherence and the second half to the virtue of simplicity, both very much treasured Christian values.
This Sunday’s Gospel passage reads: “Jesus exclaimed: …I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.” (Math 11:25)
From the same Mathew we read: “Jesus said: …I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Math 18:3)
Again in chapter 11, Jesus talking to the people about John the Baptist said: “what did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the breeze? No…up to this present time, the Kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm.” (Math 11:7-12)
The “fanatic” John the Baptist dared to say no to Herod and submitted his neck to the blade, he took the Kingdom of heaven by storm. By violence? Yes, with force, with one-mindedness, with the simplicity of a child!
The “learned and clever” columnist’s delights is digging out dirt of the Church, he would feel very high if he lived at the beginning of the twelfth century. But the Lord gave us a Saint Francis, this happy beggar, in his childish simplicity, saved the Church.
Somebody when offered a toy hammer by the students said “I am not a child”. What a pity! He (she) is putting himself (herself) out of the Kingdom of heaven. I hope he (she) may still revise his (her) choice. In this crucial moment of the history of our city everybody has to make a choice on which side of the barricade he (she) wants to stand.
On the night of July 1, I stood at the finishing point of the march watching, from eight o’clock to nine…to ten…to eleven, the arrival of the hundreds and thousands of Hong Kong “children”, they look tired but smiling, “fanatically” finishing their Way of the Cross. With such beautiful people this city has a future.
Tomorrow is the second anniversary of “double seven incident” of Shanghai diocese. Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin decidedly disqualified himself from being learned and clever, when, recently, he told the Holy Father not to restrain himself from preaching the truth out of fear that it may cause trouble to him. But he is right, only the truth will make us free!
O Lord. Help us to imitate the example of St. John the Baptist and of St. Francis of Assisi. Give courage to those who dare to be the voice in the wilderness. Bless all your “children” who, even facing all kinds of threat, come out peacefully to witness the truth, to defend human rights and fight for freedom and democracy!