Gandhi and Christianity

God’s kingdom is within us

I was impressed by the article by Anil Netto “God’s will or man’s will” (Herald,March 19) where he related the advice by Mahatma Gandhi to Christians.

The writer compared Tony Blair and George Bush to Gandhi,but I feel it would be more relevant for us to compare our own actions and attitude,as Christians, to those of his.

Gandhi's advice to Christians should make us ponder on ourselves as the followers of Christ.

Gandhi, a staunch Hindu had understood and practiced Christianity better than many of us as, he recognized that love is central in Christianity. Applying this love in the world around him even caused him his life.

The following words of Gandhi,as quoted by Anil Netto, bear very special significance to all mankind especially Christians:

The Kingdom of God is within us and that we can realise it not by saying, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but by doing God’s will and work. Therefore if we wait for the Kingdom to come, as something coming from outside, we shall be sadly mistaken.”

Today most of us indulge in all sorts of activities like fasting,abstinence, meditations, offering masses, holding mammoth prayer sessions and so on, imploring the Kingdom of God to come to us to heal us from all ills. We wait for the Kingdom of God by carrying out all these rituals but fail to appreciate that His Kingdom is within us.

For us Christians, the Kingdom of God, is the love of Christ burning within our hearts, ready to be shared with others around us – our spouse,parents,children,priest,BEC members,colleagues,friends,the poor and needy, the sick and dying,the oppressed and even our enemies.

Gandhi realized this love of God within him and readily shared that love with the millions of downtrodden in India. He saw God in the poor and the suffering and become one with them.By doing so,Gandhi has demonstrated himself as a better Christian than many of us,who are still waiting for the Kingdom of God.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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