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RENEWAL OF POLITICS
The front cover of this issue of the magazine strikes us with many terms crossing each other. Most of them are positive words to inspire us, or ingredients of for a healthier politics for the common good. World politics needs renewal in moral and ethical values, such as those of integrity, accountability, responsibility and service. Christian faith is an inspiring force to renovate politics through these principles and a source of transformation in society. Christians have a valuable contribution to offer, especially through the teachings that emanate from the Social Doctrine of the Church, such as the dignity of every human being, the pursuance of the common good, the principle of solidarity and the universal destiny of goods and private property, among others. This cover is an elaboration from a picture entitled, business concept of Max Pixel Creatives Common Zero.
Dec 2020 /Jan 2021
LOVE FOR THE EARTH, LOVE FOR HUMANITY
The bright light of the rising sun represents the luminosity, the beauty inherent in each human being and our capacity to transform evil into good and to establish authentic human relationships. The closeness of the
celebration of Christmas envisions the coming of the Light and Peace for the world, the One that fulfils the greatest aspirations of any person and leads us all to God.
The fisher represents the laborious presence of the human being in the world, administrator and steward of a wounded earth as we celebrate during this Laudato Si’ Jubilee Year proclaimed by Pope Francis. His new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, calls for an urgent common effort of solidarity, social friendship and fraternity to avoid our planet’s destruction and the downfall of humanity. The several hands in the picture symbolise the need for pulling together, diverse as we are, to achieve that dream.
EDUCATION FOR A BETTER WORLD
The Comboni College of Science and Technology (CCST) represents an example of mission that transforms the reality. Being the only Christian university in Sudan, it offers quality education for a mixed population of students, half of them Muslims. Despite their different cultural backgrounds and countries of origin the pupils find in CCST a space where they can grow in their technical and spiritual formation, in a spirit of freedom. Their curriculum includes the study of their own religion and they are also offered spaces for prayer, according to their diverse faiths, within the campus of the university. The students value this spirit of tolerance and respect offered by the institution that tries to become an incubator of a new society where fraternity in diversity may be lived. The work of evangelisation in the values of the kingdom, without being explicit, becomes then a reality.
THE GRANDUAR OF EROTIC LOVE
Solomon’s Song of Songs is a sublime erotic poem perhaps meant to exalt conjugal love. It opens with the words of the female lover: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you! Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers” (Song 1: 1–4). Often—and wrongly—human love is seen as opposed to divine love. In his 2006 Encyclical, God is Love, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed that the Church—despite all the supposed anti-sex sentiment—has not a negative vision of erotic love. He says that through purification and discipline, eros is able “to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence, of that beatitude for which our whole being yearns.” In other words, sexual love, in God’s plan, is so glorious that it is meant to provide a small foretaste of the eternal joys that await us in Heaven.
FAITH IS A SOURCE OF WELLNESS
The Gospels are full of stories in which Jesus—out of compassion—restores to health people with various kinds of diseases. Faith plays a crucial role in His healing and liberating ministry. Examples: in the healing of the ten lepers, Jesus tells the Samaritan who came back to thank Him, “Arise and go your way; your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17: 11–19); in the episode of the haemorrhagic woman who was healed by touching Jesus’ cloak, He reassured her:
“Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Mk 5: 25–34 par.); in the story of the paralytic brought on a mat by four men (Mk 2: 1–12 par.), it seems that the faith of the carriers was decisive. In the healing of the two blind men, Jesus asked “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Upon a positive answer, He concluded: “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Mt 9: 27–31). In the liberation of the boy possessed by an impure spirit, Jesus said: “Everything is possible for
one who believes” (Mk 9: 23). A dynamic faith is indeed a source of healing, liberation and wellness.
THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL
Pope Francis, in his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), published in November 2013, invites us to experience anew the love of God, which is a source of consolation and joy, and share it with others. He encourages “the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by the joy of the Gospel” (#1). He says that we need to “recover the original freshness of the Gospel”, finding “new avenues” and “new paths of creativity” to share our faith. This is possible only if we are “spiritfilled evangelisers”, that is, “fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit” who gives us “the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness (parrhesía) in every time and place, even when it meets with opposition.”