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Spiritual Reflection: 11th April 2006

Modern Pharaohs and the Slaves



Fr. Cheriyan Menacherry CMI



With great concern Jesus attended to the needs of his disciples: “When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught’.” (Jn 21:9-10).  Earlier Jesus know the difficult situation of his disciples: "Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No’". (Jn 21:4-5). Simon Peter along with Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and other disciples worked hard in the sea but that night they caught nothing, not a single fish (Cf. Jn. 21:2ff). In order to solve this problem Jesus gave them a useful tip: “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” (Jn 21:6). With great joy they came ashore in the boat dragging the nest full of fish.

Jesus, the boss having a heart of gold, grilled fish for his tired and hungry disciples who had worked hard all through the night.  Jesus is for his disciples, not a severe employer who makes his disciples to become anxious slaves, but a generous and loving shepherd who washes their feet and leads them to freedom and joy.  We find such generous managers very rarely in our companies and factories nowadays.  Most of the bosses in our society are acting as if they are modern Pharaohs.  Many employers have computer hearts and cannot feel the problems of their employees. The workers are mere parts of the large machine of mass production. Rather than freeing or easing the workers from their heavy and oppressive burden the modern pharaohs terrorize the worker to have more production.  Already in the olden days in Egypt the pharaohs whipped the Israelites. A lot of cracks of whip can be heard nowadays also, even though they are coming from the tip of the pen in the hands of the boss, warning the workers with the dismissal notices.  No wonder, a lot of jobs in the society are done with great anxiety and a lot heavy stress and with lesser and lesser creativity. Where anxiety reigns there reigns also the slavery.  Do we work with anxiety?  Then we are slaves!  Do we work with joy?  Then we are free persons! 

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