A Christian Response to Tragedy – by Jennifer Brukiewa

November 16, 2015

Where do we turn in order to deal with the terrorist attacks in Paris?

It might as well have happened on our soil. We grieve as though it has. We are not naïve to the likelihood that it is only a matter of time before it is on our soil . . . again. Though our eyes are open, we need not fear. Though we each must decide what our actions will be towards those who suffer now and how we will prepare for our future, it is imperative that we listen to our internal responses first, right now.

untitled (11 of 223)What is stirring in our hearts? Where do we turn for comfort and answers? Is it fear that we succumb to when tragedy hits? Then it is fear that will drive our responses. If we look for answers first from the voices of our world, the media, the “experts”, how can we avoid filtering God’s voice through their opinions? We must lean into God with our honest hearts and listen for His voice in these places. Let us pray for the suffering, pray for our enemies, and nurture our faith; He has overcome the world.

This morning before I heard the news, I read the following. It was written by Jesuit Father Luis Espinal who was assassinated by paramilitary forces March 22, 1980 in La Paz, Bolivia. He wrote this shortly before his death.

“There are Christians who have hysterical reactions, as if the world would have slipped out of God’s hands.
They act violently as if they were risking everything.

But we believe in history;
the world is not a roll of the dice going towards chaos.
A new world has begun to happen since Christ has risen . . .

Jesus Christ, we rejoice in Your definitive triumph . . .
with our bodies still in the breach,
and our souls in tension,
we cry our first ‘Hurrah!’
till eternity unfolds itself.

Your sorrow now has passed.
Your enemies have failed.
You are a definitive smile for humankind.

What matter the wait now for us?
We accept the struggle and the death;
because You, our Love, will not die!

We march behind you,
on the road to the future.
You are with us
and you are our immorality!

Take away the sadness on our faces.
We are not in a game of chance . . .
You have the last word!

Beyond the crushing of our bones,
now has begun the eternal ‘alleluia!’
From the thousand openings of our wounded bodies
and souls there arises now a triumphal song!

So, teach us to give voice to your new life throughout
all the world.

Because you dry the tears from the eyes of the
oppressed forever . . .
and death will disappear . . .”

Copyright Jennifer Brukiewa

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