It is easy to see how local and central government can control our lives. It is important for us to become involved and show interest in the political process not leaving responsibility to others.

What we need to clearly grasp is the way in which our lives are shaped and controlled by central and local governments as well as political parties, trade unions, professional bodies and the forces of public opinion. Once that framework is understood, it is then for us to engage with that process.

Christians cannot abrogate their responsibilities by leaving everything to others and then complaining. We have to accept our responsibilities, get involved and show some interest in what is happening in life with a view to mending the fabric of our society.

It is interesting to read in Caritas in Veritate – “Charity in Truth” (2009), that the relation of governments to society has grown more complex: “The State finds itself having to address the limitations to its sovereignty imposed by the new context of international trade and finance, which is characterised by increasing mobility both financial capital and means of production.”

Christians need to get involved in the discourse of public life, whether by seeking public office in local or national government, joining trade unions or becoming part of campaigns for change. We must not become spectators on our own futures.

Readings:

Matthew 20: V 1-16: Workers in the Vineyard.
Psalm 40.

Prayer:

We pray Lord that you will continue to call and support all those people who have the required gifts to become involved in public life so that your will may come into the forefront of people’s minds and hearts.

Action:

Citizens need to become engaged in activites at local, regional and natioal level in order to ensure that a just world is established. This could be via justice and peace groups, trade unions, community organising, non governmental organisations and political parties.

Deacon Pat Taylor, St. Joseph’s Parish, Basingstoke

http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/life-work/reflection/role-government/

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