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Human Beings Being Humane

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Human Beings Being Humane

Human beings #Being Humane!

God created human beings in his own image and are created with a purpose, not just to be autonomously unique, but vocationally set apart. The purpose in mind was that every human being was supposed to be an instrument of God’s image bearer who could care for the universe and tend to the created potential around them as a co-partnered project; in other words, ‘being humane.’ All human beings are called to work together as one human family at making this creation as amazing as possible. But we usually find our failure in living out our designed intention over our self-seeking priorities. We hand over our image bearing nature to other idols, like money, power, sex, success, comfort, pleaser, etc. The idols that we give power to, whether physical or not, rob our very nature to be humane.

Jesus once said, “You must be compassionate, just as your Heavenly Father is compassionate.” A humane person is one who shows great compassion and caring for others, including for animals, sea and flying creatures, environment, planet, whole universe, and who tries whenever possible to alleviate another’s suffering. The idea of being humane is linked to a higher level of a person’s character which are received and earned through constant communion with God and with divine life, and we know them as in Jesus’ words, “by their fruits.” While the word- ‘being humane’ is derived from the word human, the sad fact is that a person can be human without being humane like a tree without fruits. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, in the same way apart from Jesus we can achieve nothing. Jesus initiated the curse-reversal of creation through his resurrection. His victory sets people free from the idols in our lives that we have given our image over to, like money, power, sex, success, comfort, etc. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life; a communion brought about by the ‘convocation’ (the gathering or calling together) of human beings in Christ, and this convocation is the Participatory Church.” However, Christianity is primarily an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ, who is fully human and fully divine- “Word became flesh”. It is in this experience that we discover our greatest happiness, deepest peace and ultimate purpose in life which is obviously not a personal purpose to become human but God’s universal purpose and principle for humankind to live and do what is right and good for the universe. Gaining the whole world is different from choosing the way of life to remain humane. And thus, it is usually considered as a lifelong effort.

The world that had been damaged by human failure is now being renewed to its original intention by Jesus’ restorative care of what humans were meant to tend to. Being humane is a virtue, mainly to Christians, that entails living with the better qualities of humankind such as willingness to respect the existence of others, ability to understand the sufferings and misfortunes of others, acceptance of the universal and natural truth, being responsible for the world around, considerate of the substance which gives the essential meaning to something, doing away with inflicting any pain, and putting a civilizing effect on whom we have direct or indirect involvement, make humans humane. When human beings have or show these qualities, everything or each and every one of us, receives humane treatment. This lifelong effort to treat others equally becomes simple when all come together as one human family with one intention to become more humane towards creator and creatures.

Pope Francis, in a message to the Council of Europe, reiterates his call for immediate action to protect our common home. He also referred to his Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ highlighting the importance of caring for our common home, as ‘a universal principle that involves not only the Christians, but every person of good will who has the protection of the environment at heart.’ He also insisted on the ‘individual and collective responsibilities’ to ensure everybody’s right to a ‘safe, healthy and sustainable environment,’ especially for the future generations. The Holy Father Pope Francis also insisted, “Social equity and ecological sustainability with fairness, with justice and with involving everyone in all matters is the true spirit of being humane and a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world, our lifestyles, our relationship with the resources of the Earth and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and of living life.”

I always believe in the goodness of people. Circumstances, experiences, the harshness of life may affect adversely, but deep down all human beings are good. We have to make sure we do not get swayed by those who have changed their image and nature of human life due to attributes that have influenced that change; greed, power, and lust to control others especially who stand for what is right and common good for greater cause. Depending on age and gender, position and situation, ‘being humane; can mean so many different things such as,  being benevolent, sympathetic, civilized, understanding, gentle, tolerant, magnanimous, tender-hearted, forgiving, gracious, charitable, obliging, indulgent, liberal, democratic, accommodating, and even just plain friendly.

Amidst flaws and sinful actions, there is an invitation from Jesus to join a new way of living that is humane. Rid your life of the idols that are not made in God’s image and tend to the things that have been given, for we are made in the image of God and become nothing if we are not humane. Therefore, let us reimagine human life with humane character, otherwise every tree that does not bring forth good fruit shall be cut down, and cast into the fire, because one who neglects to bring forth the fruit of being humane finds a fire in hell prepared for. 

+ In Christ,

 

Father Henry Peter MSFS,

Sacred Heart Church,

Bhusawal, Maharashtra, India.

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