By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who Will Lead Us?

Today Albertans are going to the polls to elect a government. Citizens will have the opportunity to make a choice as to who will govern them. The provincial parties have laid out their platforms: what they will do for families, health care, education, the environment, and so on. We assess their positions in relation to ours and then make a choice, which will determine how the province will be led in the coming years.

In the Easter season the issue of governance is taken to an entirely different level. We stand before the mystery of Jesus Christ crucified and risen, and recognize instinctively that this is a leader far beyond and above all others. Jesus is one not chosen by the people but sent by the heavenly Father; he has come not to resolve transient problems but to be the answer to timeless questions; his mandate is not for a limited number of years but for all time. Jesus is not a political leader of a single province or nation but the saviour of the entire world. He does not adapt his platform to please people and attract votes, but serves in fidelity to the mission he has received from God his Father. In the liturgies of these holy days of Easter the Church proclaims Jesus Christ as crucified and risen Lord, and we are invited to accept him as the One Ruler of our hearts.

The Scripture readings for yesterday's Sunday Mass teach that we can place our complete confidence in this ruler. So often in an election campaign we hear parties accuse one another of failing to keep promises. In contrast, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrates God’s perfect fidelity to the many promises he made through history to save his people. In the first reading, St. Peter teaches the crowd that, in the suffering of Jesus, God the Father has fulfilled what he had promised and foretold through the prophets. Peter’s teaching is rooted in that of the risen Lord himself, who in the Gospel confirms that all that was written of him in the Law and the Prophets had to be fulfilled. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is the supreme manifestation of the fidelity of God to his promises. The long-awaited saviour, promised by God, has come in the person of Jesus Christ. God is worthy of our full trust.

As Albertans choose a political leader, let us reaffirm our submission to Christ as Lord of our hearts. Placing our confidence entirely in him, and following his commandments, is the foundation of a real and lasting hope.