Sunday, July 19, 2009

The other side of community...

Communities as well as individuals suffer. All over the world there are large groups of people who are persecuted, mistreated, abused, and made victims of horrendous crimes. There are suffering families, suffering circles of friends, suffering religious communities, suffering ethnic groups, and suffering nations. In these suffering bodies of people we must be able to recognise the suffering Christ. They too are chosen, blessed, broken and given to the world.

As we call one another to respond to the cries of these people and work together for justice and peace, we are caring for Christ, who suffered and died for the salvation of our world.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

As we pray, especially as we pray prayers like the Jesus Prayer, we pray in solidarity, in oneness as creatures, with all who suffer. Like the bread of the Eucharist, like Christ himself, our hearts are broken open: not only for the humans who suffer, but for the animals, for creation itself. (Romans 8.19ff) This is true community, the community of the suffering Christ.

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