Friday, March 21, 2008


'[W]hat is important for our church and for our religious institutes: that the powerful of this world look on us approvingly and support us, or that we be a cry of hope, good news for the despised of the earth? Jesus’ words – “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” – are applicable institutionally to the church and to ourselves.’ (Juan Ramón Moreno, Jesuit priest - killed in El Salvador in 1989)

In her excellent article Being on the side of the crucified, which will also appear in the Sewanee Theological Review, Savi Hensman raises questions highly appropriate to the narrative, message and calling of Good Friday. She asks:

"How highly do we prioritise the preservation of the current order and protection of existing patterns of wealth and privilege, which may benefit us individually and institutionally? In providing pastoral care to the privileged and powerful, are we able to remain detached from their outlook and encourage them to seek a higher good? Do we tend to adopt society’s values, dismissing as unimportant the hardship and injustice endured by the poor and marginalised, or are we bearers of good news even in bleak situations?

"When conflict escalates, can we resist the ‘militarization of the mind’? How willing are we to be transformed by a God of love, to look with unflinching compassion on those who suffer and seek to identify and address the causes?

"And how willing are we to risk losing what we have in order to gain what is incomparably better? Even when destruction and death seem to hold sway, can we trust in the new life which is to come and be heralds of hope?"

[Pic: Women's Cross, El Salvador - from Lutheran World]

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