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Among the fallen PDF Print E-mail

06 March 2011: Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

During the last week we have all been shocked and moved by the earthquake in Christchurch. Many of us have friends and connections with the city. Some Jesuits of our Province have come to us from New Zealand. For many years, too, Jesuits taught in Christchurch at the seminaries.

I have been moved by the many stories of terror, loss and heroism. The story of the doctors who stayed under threat of aftershocks to save the lives of injured people. The untold story of the Asian students who died away from their homes and lands, with their bodies still to be found.

I was also struck by the image of the Anglican Cathedral with its fallen spire. The picture spoken of a church that shares the desolation on the cross.

It was also an image of a church which had been the pride of the city and a symbol of assurance. Now it has fallen, and it will need to be rebuilt. It shares its brokenness with the people of Christchurch who need to rebuild their lives, find meaning in all that has happened, and look for encouragement in their loss.

Christchurch and its ruined Cathedral speak to all of us this week. They invite us to continue to keep the people of Christchurch in our hearts and in our prayers. They will gradually disappear from the media, but their suffering and need will continue.

The fallen Cathedral tower also reminds us of our invitation to serve faith and justice in all our Jesuit works. Justice asks that, like the ruined church, we share our lives with the poorest and most desolate of our brothers and sisters.

Faith asks that, like the ruined church, we find the right silences and simple words as we accompany people whose lives have been overturned by sudden loss, and that we encourage them to find hope and meaning in their loss.

Let us pray for the people of Christchurch, and also pray for large and warm hearts that reach out to them.

Fr Steve Curtin sj
Provincial - Society of Jesus Australia
Source: Province Express - Among the fallen

As a small sign of our solidarity with our neighbours in New Zealand, you may like to donate to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.