A stroppy youth met Gandhi on the street and told him to get off the pavement in apartheid South Africa. Gandhi’s reply to the youth was, ‘I think you’ll find that there is enough room for all of us in this world.’ These words re-echo with me today when I think of the strikes and protests in the UK over the pay and conditions of workers in schools, hospitals and the railways. There are enough resources to go round and enough money to pay people fairly, except for a little thing called human greed. We can all be guilty of it and it ruins people’s lives. It is the cause of great injustice in every age.
Today a paralysed man is brought to Jesus and in a famous scene is lowered through the roof to be healed by him. His sickness is plain to be seen, but like the rest of us, his sins are not. Jesus uses the occasion to forgive his sins as well as to heal his body.
What sins lurk unseen in our human lives? Sloth maybe, and lust: envy and pride: anger and intolerance: unkindly talk, selfishness and greed. These are very common, everyday faults in our lives that we never think about or mention, and which do such untold damage in the world.
Our hospitals are suffering an enormous crisis at present with wards full and A & E over-crowded. Our sicknesses are overwhelming our ability to deal with them: Just so with our sins as well. Greed and selfishness is dividing us from one another.
In our efforts to make things better we do well to remember the words of Gandhi that day when his way was blocked on a street. ‘I think you’ll find there is room for all of us in this world.’
13 January 2023