By Paul Robson sj
In his first letter to Timothy, Saint Paul encourages prayers for “all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” Among those in high positions, we might consider political leaders. On the level of the nation of Canada, an election has been called and will take place on October 21 st . We might pray for the current and future leaders of Canada. We might also begin to consider who we want to vote for next month.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued a document titled Voting as Catholics: 2019 Federal Election Guide. This guide does not recommend that the Catholic reader should vote for any particular party or candidate. It does mention some principles which the voter can keep in mind while considering the platforms of the different parties.
One of the principles mentioned in the guide is that we, and our leaders, should be “always concerned for the weakest among us – physically, economically, and socially.” This principle, which could also be called the “preferential option for the poor”, is seen in our first reading of today, from the prophet Amos. The prophet has some strong words for those who “trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land.”
Besides poor and needy people, something else that gets trampled on at times is Mother Earth. Another point made by the CCCB guide is that we, including our political leaders, should “respect the planet, our common home.”
Let us pray for the poor, and for the Creation, and for political leaders. May we also live in solidarity with poor and needy people, and with all of God’s Creation; and let us encourage our leaders to do likewise.