Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Mysterious Bond That Unites Us

Many times we've heard words like this: "We are all brothers and sisters. We are a family, living together on this small and precious planet, our little 'earth.' We all really do depend on one another."

We think we know what all of this means, but in fact we have barely scratched the surface of the profound concrete reality of existing as persons-in-relation to one another, called to the fullness of life as a communion of persons.

The "human family" is not a cozy, tame little idea. If someone hurts, we all hurt.

It's crucial that we learn to see real life more in these terms. The world today is full of crises, full of pain, and we cannot forget that this is "our" pain. However we may try, we cannot escape being affected by it. In this respect, today's world—even with all its intense and complex problems—does not present a radical departure from perennial human experience. In fact, the human family always shares a profound bond of suffering. We all share a common affliction.

We also share a common hope.

We share a source of unity that is greater than everything that divides us, and greater than every fear.

Advent approaches. For Christians this is a special season of preparation, of making room in our hearts for the coming of the One who is that Source, who has come in the flesh to dwell with us, to be close to us, to be close to every human person and the whole human race.

He loves us. How can we not love one another?

In the days to come, we would do well to pray and "fast"—i.e. voluntarily embrace some sacrifices within our daily routine—so that we might be more ready to receive His love.

Thus we will also begin to see truly our brothers and sisters in the one human family, to remember our common suffering, our existential poverty, our dependence on God, and the mysterious bond that unites us in our journey to Him and sustains us in a posture of compassion for one another.

We must beg the Lord to change our mentality and transform our way of looking at the world and all of the problems and the dangers, and all the evil that has already been judged and vanquished.