IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE CRISIS
Many people continue suffering the economic crisis in many ways. We shouldn’t be fooled. We can’t let our gaze wander. Right where we are, close by, we’re going to run into families forced to live on charity, people threatened with eviction, neighbors hit by the strike, patients who don’t know how to solve their health problems or get medicine.
No one knows very well how society will react. In some families, the sense of powerlessness will continue to grow, along with rage and discouragement. It’s foreseeable that fights will increase. In some, it’s likely that selfishness and obsession with personal security will grow.
But it’s also possible that solidarity will grow. The crisis can make us more humane. It can teach us to share more of what we have and don’t need. We can strengthen the bonds and mutual help within families. Our sensitivity toward the most forgotten can grow.
Our Christian communities also can grow in fraternal love. It’s the time to discover that you can’t follow Jesus and collaborate in the humanizing project of the Father without working for a more just and less corrupt society, one that is more in solidarity and less selfish, one that’s more responsible and less frivolous or materialistic.
It’s also a moment to recover the humanizing power that is contained in the Eucharist when it is lived as an experience of love that is confessed and shared. The meeting of Christians, gathered every Sunday around Jesus, must become the place of greater consciousness and of movement toward a practical solidarity.
We need to get out of our routine and mediocrity. We can’t celebrate communion with Christ in the intimacy of our heart without celebrating communion with our brothers and sisters who are suffering. We can’t share the Eucharistic bread and at the same time ignore the hunger of millions of human beings who are deprived of bread and justice. It’s a farce to share the sign of peace with one another while forgetting those who are socially excluded.
The celebration of the Eucharist must help us to open our eyes to discover the ones we have to defend, to support, to help in these times. We need to be awakened from the «illusion of innocence» that lets us live peacefully, that allows us to be moved and to fight only when we see our own interests in danger. What we live each Sunday with faith can make us more humane and better followers of Jesus. It can help us to live this crisis with Christian clarity, without losing dignity or hope.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf