TIMES OF CRISIS
In the Gospels we find some passages of apocalyptical character where it is hard to distinguish the message that could be attributed to Jesus and the concerns of the early Christian communities that are caught up in tragic situations as they wait fearfully for the end of times in the midst of persecutions.
According to Luke’s account, the hard times don’t need to be times of lament and discouragement. Nor is it the hour of resignation or flight. Jesus’ idea is something else. It’s precisely in times of crisis that «you will have opportunity to give witness». It’s then that we’re given the best chance to give witness to our attachment to Jesus and to his project.
It’s now been quite a while that we are suffering a crisis that keeps hitting so many so forcefully. What’s happening right now allows us to understand all the more realistically the social damage and the suffering this is generating. Isn’t it time to consider how we’re reacting?
Maybe the first thing we need to do is to look deep down at our attitude: Have we positioned ourselves in a responsible way, awakening in ourselves a basic sense of solidarity, or are we turning our backs on everything that disturbs our peace and quiet? What are we doing from the perspective of our groups and Christian communities? Have we set up a line of generous action, or do we go about celebrating our faith far removed from what’s going on around us?
The crisis is opening up an unjust social chasm between those of us who can live without fear of the future and those who find themselves cut off from society and deprived of a dignified way out. Don’t we feel the call to introduce into our lives some «cut-backs» in order to be able to live these coming years in a more serious way, one based on solidarity?
Little by little we’ll get to know more closely those who are left so defenseless and without resources (families with no income, long-lasting strikes, immigrants who are sick…). Are we worried about opening our eyes to see if we can commit ourselves to easing the situation of some of them? Can we think of some concrete initiative that arises out of the Christian community?
We mustn’t forget that the crisis doesn’t just create material poverty. It also generates insecurity, fear, powerlessness and an experience of failure. It breaks down projects, ruins families, destroys hope. Don’t we need to recover the importance of helping out family members, looking out for neighbors, the welcoming and accompaniment that arises out of our Christian communities…? Few things could be more noble at these moments than to learn to take care of one another.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf