A lawyer writes in the Eyes of the Believer column on the darkness he sees in our society because of Corona 19 pandemic.
He received an e-mail from a priest who wrote: "It is the first time in my life, ordained 40 years, and was not able to say Mass on Easter or Christmas. It's dark and messy everywhere. I don't know how the year has passed. It would be just a dream to hope that Jesus' way of life would bring a radiant New Year."
The writer agrees that it's really dark and unsettled everywhere. The whole world is depressed because of the coronavirus infection-19, and we see no end to the hardships that the poor people suffer. And in the midst of all this, we see greed, foolishness, and anger which is scarier than Corona 19.
Yesterday, he watched a TV program in which a crowd gathered outside the house of a sex criminal who was released from prison after serving his term. A riot developed outside the house with the police. Stones were thrown at windows, people were climbing up gas pipes, standing on cars, it was free for all. Why were they acting in this way? It turns out that they were broadcasting on YouTube. The more people who watch the broadcast, the more money they make, so they didn't hesitate to gain attention. They are not the only ones. All of us act in the same way at times.
A friend of the writer sold an apartment for 600 million won and moved to a rented house. The price of the sold apartment increased to 1.8 billion won in just 4 years, and the wife was so upset she was bedridden.
People blame the president and the ministers but if we are honest, we are responsible. Even though the government has tried to stop speculation, it is difficult to avoid real estate speculation. Everybody desires that their house price go up. They scream and blame others for what they are doing. It is our greed, foolishness, and anger.
These days, some people are raising their voices toward the parliamentary dictatorship, which has passed the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials. In the days of what was called 'Renovation', a third of the lawmakers were appointed by the president. At which time he mentions how his friends were arrested by plainclothes police officers at their school and taken to jail without the chance to say anything.
Today no matter how much one complains, calling the parliament a dictatorship, no one is hauled off to jail. The establishment of a criminal investigation center for high-ranking public officials was a system that both parties were committed to in the past. It was supposed to make sure that there was a separation between the police that investigated and those who prosecuted. When this was achieved it would eventually be eliminated. However, according to many, the majority of the National Assembly is labeled a dictatorship, and the media spreads it and drives people into extreme confrontation, which is also a measure of greed, stupidity, and anger.
But in the old days, 2,500 years ago, Plato already had the same lament. When politics are in the hands of an oligarchy, wisdom, and justice is forgotten we have profit, and a focus on material goods. In democratic politics, indulgence and disintegration are rampant, and when you have a tyrant as a leader who has an obedient crowd we have repression of the citizenry.
It was the same in the days of Jesus. It was a world where all the leaders, political and religious had vested interests, as well as the followers of Jesus who vied for a higher position in the kingdom, they also were greedy, foolish, and angry. Jesus did not despair in such a dark and confusing world, he planted a little mustard seed of love. Then, even though he knew that he would die on the cross, he walked this path of love to the end.
The priest asked the writer at the end of the Christmas e-mail. "Would it be just a dream expecting Jesus' way of life to make a difference in the New Year? If we all followed the path that Jesus took, Jesus would come through us so the New Year would be bright.