Father Evaristo Debiasi, Ecclesiastical Assistant ACN Brazil
Adapted by Robert Lalonde, ACN Canada
It’s the World Cup and the world is watching. Watching the news, like you, I too have my doubts and questions. But it is the World Cup. What strikes me in all of this is what we as human beings have within us: whether by instinct, by desire, or through our dreams, it is the will to triumph. It is something within our nature. The human individual ceases to live when he or she no longer has a cause for which to struggle. Without an objective, life loses its meaning.
Like many around me, I too have been caught up in the World Cup fever. I like to see the fans of the different teams, their enthusiasm, how they cheer, their unity, how they shout, how they are thrilled when their team wins. With the World Cup, allegiances to the various local teams and clubs break up and we become national supporters.
For a while we forget the differences of class, colour, race, or creed. We wrap ourselves up in our own flags and we cheer for just one team, one team among all the teams in the world (I think there are 32 of them taking part in this World Cup), our team, to be the winner – the best in the world. If we lose, we cannot help but being downcast. That’s natural. But if a single football has the capacity to unite all the different fans … if one ball can unite us, can cause us to break away from the work we’re doing, to sit down in front of a TV, to shout and cheer and forget ourselves just a little, and get exhilarated – or maybe downcast and miserable – then why cannot life unite us more closely? Why can we not cheer together for a better country? For a more just, a more fraternal society? Is it that we lack a common objective, a common ideal? Do we perhaps lack the coaches, the cheerleaders, the cause? Isn’t it about time, then, that you and I begin to feel more like citizens of one country, brothers and sisters of a single people?
My God, if a football can unite individuals, and races, why can love not unite us? Why does justice not unite us? So, I ask you: how are you playing in the team of your family, among your loved ones? How are you playing in the team of our society, a society in which everyone wins and so I too am more of a winner; that the happiness of all makes me happier… Why do we not cheer for the cause of greater justice? Why do we not cheer for that cause which cherishes human life? Or is life of lesser value than a game of football?
My friends, a football unites us. There is a coach in whom we can put our faith, there are players for whom we can shout, and everyone is cheering that only one team – our team – will be the one to win the trophy. Ah, but in the field of human life no one should be defeated, no one is to be beaten. Either I win along with everyone, or else I am not a citizen of the world, a citizen of my country, within my family, within my own life. Do we lack the supporters, the enthusiasm for a cause? Ask yourself! Let us all ask ourselves. One ball unites a people. Why can the cause of good not unite us all? The time has come to think about this. We need to win together. This is the ideal and the dream of mankind.