US Dollar currency has the official motto of its country. “In God I trust”. It has been already on the coin of its country from 1864. It was printed on the paper currency from 1967. The phrase seems to have originated during the civil war in the US. It was printed on the coin first and then in the era of civil war it was begun to be printed on the currency. In order to differentiate between communism, which promotes atheism, the American capitalistic democracy chose “In God I Trust” as the official motto of the country.
“Trust in God” is the key to any religious life or a believing community. The world is torn apart by the civil wars in Iraq, Afganistan, Syria and Burma. Nuclear threat is looming in the air in the Korean Penisula. Domination and violence in the name of religion, race, caste and country are perpetuated and justified.
On the other side material comforts and conveniences of the people are slowly increasing due to technological advancement and urbanization. But at the same time man finds himself in a whirlpool of anxiety and insecurity. Fear of the future grips his mind and heart and he loses his peace of mind.
Pope Benedict XVI, on 22 June 2008 said in the St. Peter’s Basilica before the Angelus, “The worldly fears can be overcome through trust in God. If fears are on the increase in the modern world, the basic lesson for it is that there is a steady decline in the people’s trust in God”.
Henry Ford was interviewed a few years prior to his death. Though managing the world’s greatest business, Ford looked very calm and peaceful at 78. When asked whether he ever worried. He replied “No! I believe in God. God is managing my affairs and that he does not need any advice from me. With God being uncharged, I believe that everything will work for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?
Once there was a man of good cheer. This man was the favorite friend of the King, and they did many things together. There was just one thing very particular about this friend – no matter what happened in life be it good or bad, he would always respond, “This is good”. This was an amazing to most of the people, including the king; but still the king liked him.
One day the king and his friend went into the forest for hunting. Something went terribly wrong and the gun somehow back fired and blew of his thumb. His friend commented in his usual way “This is good”. The king thought that his friend was insensitive to him and making fun of him. He asked that his friend has to be put in the jail. Hence his friend went into the jail.
After a few years, the king was out for hunting in the forest all alone. All of a sudden the bush- men came and captured him and took him to their abode. They wanted to offer the king as a holocaust to appease their gods. They tied the king to a strong pole and gathered wood put around the king. Before they could put the fire, they noticed a thumb of the king was missing. They released him because they cannot offer any offering which is blemished.
The king was happy and realized that it was good that he had lost his thumb to save his life. He wanted to see his friend to thank him and to ask for his forgiveness for putting him in the prison. His friend answered him that it is good that I am in prison. The king was astonished and asked his friend “Now how could it have been good for you to be in jail? His friend replied him, if he is not in jail he would have been with him in the forest and the bush men would have offered him as a holocaust to their gods instead of the king who was blemished. We cannot see beyond a certain limits, God knows everything and does everything for a good purpose. Hence we need to trust in his providence despite any temporary phase of uncertainty.
We read in Mt 8/23-27, Jesus and apostles were travelling in a boat. The apostles panicked when a storm caught them at the sea, but Jesus, who was asleep in the boat, calmed the storm and reminded them to have faith in him. May we learn to trust in God in good times and in bad times! God speaks to us, “Blessed are those who trust in the lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by waters, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious and it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jer17/7-8).
Hence let us put our trust in God and begin the New Year 2018. I wish you all a “Happy New year”.
Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose
Bishop of Thanjavur