By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 5, unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did
Jesus invites us to move beyond the finger-pointing and scapegoating blame of others and outsiders—part of the destructive and addictive pattern of life—and into an open-hearted and open-handed stance of solidarity with all who suffer. This is what Jesus means when he calls us unequivocally to repent. When we find the courage to face our own suffering within the mercy of God, we discover there not only the God who chooses to suffer with us and the God who triumphs over suffering and brings us to new life, but we also discover a deeper connection to all humanity. There are many things that bind us together as human beings into a single human family, but one of the points of deepest connection is when we get in touch with our own suffering. It will inevitably bring us into touch with the suffering of others. This is the true meaning of compassion, the suffering with and sharing in the sufferings of others. Through the experience of our own poverty, an inner poverty that every human being shares, we find our true sisters and brothers in the poorest of the poor.
Prayer God of the cross, we so often try and hide from our suffering, help us to have the courage to see it, and engage it, and become more compassionate.