Friday, March 14, 2008
He Has Finished the Race
In our catholicity, when one part of the Body of Christ suffers, the whole body suffers. We mourn with those who mourn.
Zenit, The New York Times and the BBC are covering the death of Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul in Iraq. His body was recovered two weeks after he was abduction by Muslim extremists. Three of his aides were killed in the kidnapping. It is unclear whether or not the 65-year-old archbishop was murdered or died of natural causes.
We stand with the Holy Father and the Archbishop's flock in mourning his death and praying for peace in Iraq and the safety of Iraq's Christian community.
During the Holy Week in front of us, as we contemplate the passion of our Lord, may we remember that the crosses we may be expected to bear in our Christian witnesses can go far beyond the things we give up for Lent and the moderate trials of affluent Western living. Those crosses could include maintaining our testimony in the face of those who violently oppose our faith and are willing to kill for our silence. While opposing secularist efforts to remove any reference to faith from the public square (e.g., the war on Christmas) can be good, and internal acts of offering our little sufferings up to the Lord is even better in our pursuit of holiness, our lives belong to Christ, and He may ask everything of us.
May we give God gratitude for the relative ease in which we live. May we be provoked to find ways to offer ourselves more fully to Christ and our brothers and sisters, that we may suffer with them as Christ suffered for us. May we be instruments of peace.