Who is in charge?

We are! With love we can make a difference

Bishop Jaime Soto Almost instinctively, when something goes wrong, we often ask the question: Who is in charge? Who is to blame? Almost instinctively also, we often answer: I don’t know, I cannot, I don’t care.

If we reflect a little, we realize that these answers are symptomatic of our present reality. “I don’t know” reflects the moral ambiguity in which we move, the lack of vision and direction. “I cannot” reflects the paralysis ensuing from such lack of direction. “I don’t care” is really a consequence of the hopelessness of such ambiguity and paralysis.

Against all this, Christ issues a call to leadership. A true leader does not say: “I don’t know, I cannot, I don’t care.” A Christian knows that against the not knowing of ambiguity, love clarifies; against the paralysis, love calls to action; against the lack of caring, love makes us compassionate. Without love, I don’t know, I cannot, I don’t care. With love, yes, I understand; yes, I can; yes, I care.

Jesus is love incarnate in our humanity. Let us place our eyes on the person of Jesus who will reveal to us a love leading from ambiguity to prophetic vision, from powerless anonymity to being a royal people, from indifference to a priestly life.

As a prophet, Jesus was called to announce a real and clear reign. People around him trusted his vision. For us to be efficient messengers, we need to have the Word rooted in our lives, to bring the light of joy and hope to our world, to build the reign by building community in the midst of the diversity of today’s world.

As king, Jesus was called to build the reign of God. As his disciples, we are called to place all we possess at the service of the reign, to share all our goods, to struggle in solidarity for justice.

As priest, Jesus—and we, too—was called to give himself totally to the reign of God, to surrender his very life.

Our discipleship of Jesus calls us to take the call to be prophets, kings, and priests of the new creation seriously. The young people of today ask: Who is in charge? Our firm, courageous, and joyful answer must be: Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.—Excerpted from Bishop Soto’s talk at the First National Encuentro of Hispanic Youth Ministry (Notre Dame, June 2006).

Your turn

  • What are your most frequent answers to the question, “Who is in charge?”
  • Do you accept God’s call to leadership, or do you try to avoid it?
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