Thanks to Fr Robin Gibbons for this:
What does it mean for a Christian in fear of their life in Iraq, a
Syrian Christian bombed out of home and church or a child whose whose
family has been blown to bits in Gaza or somebody with the Ebola virus,
to hear those words of Paul, ‘nothing can separate us from the love of
Christ?’. Would they find comfort in a pain beyond words, in a loss we
can only vaguely acknowledge.
This is where pious platitudes and sentimental religion collapse,
this is the point where the Christ of salvation loses his clothes and
church finery, moves out of a safe sacramental world we create and
becomes the bloodied Christ of the cross. The one who cries ‘ father
forgive, they know not what they do!'.This is the point where the raw
love of God remains our hope!
We are all complicit in the savagery of this world, we in the West
have it so easy, but that cannot last. If we follow the Lord the cross
is ours to carry and transformation comes through bearing one another’s
burdens. Jesus in the Gospel sees the crowd and takes pity on them, but
before he celebrates a meal with them he is active in curing the sick.
A message for us who have weekly Eucharist, that the beginning of our
sacramental celebration lies with the care of real people, there the
body of Christ is first encountered. The needs of the poor, hungry,
homeless come before our need for sacramental celebration which connects
with our active love.
Isaiah shows us God literally calling people from want and need to
life, but that, on this earth has to be through us! The scriptures are
not simply pages in a book or nice poetic readings, they are God’s voice
calling us to respond now!
But back to my initial question, how do people who have had far more
suffering than we ever will know, who in a true sense take on sufferings
far more painful than the Christ on the cross, find that love of God?
As I grow older I notice more that in the tangled mess and problems
of the world, there is one thread that never snaps, somehow deep in all
of this is the presence of Christ alive, loving, suffering with them.
The presence of that loving Christ is our constant loving care for
these little ones!
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