Monday April 26, 2021
As severe as personal pain can be, there are instances when our own pales next to the pain of an entire society or people. It’s not that societal pain diminishes individual pain but it does put it in perspective. And the individual stories of societal horror enable us to grasp more deeply the reality of evil and its consequent suffering.
It’s important to remember the suffering of others, whether it was that of the Armenians in 1915, the Tutsis in 1994, or the Uighurs in present day China, to name only a few. In 1944 Raphael Lemkin introduced a new word to our vocabulary: genocide, to mean the coordinated plan of destruction of a group of people.
It’s a word that conjures up visions of death camps, photos that cause us to shudder, as they should. But we cannot merely avert our eyes or turn away thinking that such horror was in the past. We need to do more than say “Never again.”
Prayer for the Day
We come to you, O God, to confess our failures and our faults.
We are afraid of the tasks to which we are called,
We leave the poor in their poverty and the afflicted in their pain,
We are content to leave your demands for others to fill.
Forgive us, O God, and erase the habits of our uncaring,
And transform our words into action as you call us to do.
In the name of the Transformer of our lives,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.
Bertold Brecht, German dissenter, playwright (1898-1956)
If I look at the mass, I will never act.
Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day but you do not answer; and by night but find no rest.
Psalm 22: 1-2