Thursday, November 14, 2013

Times of crisis

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 17, 2013

Luke 21:5-19

The gospels include some texts of an apocalyptic nature in which it isn't easy to distinguish the message that could be attributed to Jesus from the concerns of the early Christian communities involved in tragic situations as they anxiously awaited the end times amid persecution.

According to Luke's account, hard times are not to be times of lamentation and despair. Nor is it the time for resignation or flight. Jesus has a different idea. Precisely the times of crisis "will lead to your giving testimony." It's then that we are offered the best opportunity to give witness to our commitment to Jesus and his plan.

We have spent five years undergoing a crisis that is hitting many hard. What has happened during this time allows us to now know realistically the social harm and suffering it is generating. Hasn't the time come to ask ourselves how we are reacting?

Perhaps the first thing is to review our basic attitude: Have we positioned ourselves responsibly, awakening in ourselves our basic sense of solidarity, or are we living with our backs turned to anything that might disturb our tranquility? What are we doing from our Christian groups and communities? Have we set a line of generous action for ourselves, or are we celebrating our faith at the margins of what is happening?

The crisis is opening an unjust social divide between those of us who can live without fear of the future and those who remain excluded from society and deprived of a decent way out. Don't we feel called to introduce some "cutbacks" into our lives to be able to live in a more sober and solidary way over the next few years?

Gradually, we are getting to know more closely those who are the most vulnerable and without resources (families with no income whatsoever, the long-term unemployed, sick immigrants ...). Do we care to open our eyes to see if we can commit ourselves to alleviating the situation of some of them? Can we think of some realistic initiatives from the Christian communities?

We must not forget that the crisis doesn't just create material impoverishment. It also generates insecurity, fear, powerlessness, and the experience of failure. It breaks plans, sinks families, destroys hope. Don't we have to recover the importance of aid among family members, support among neighbors, welcome and accompaniment from the Christian community ...? Few things can be more noble right now than learning to care for one another.

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