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The Cross of Christ (April 2009)
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

In the crucifixion of Jesus we contemplate the great mystery of the Lord’s suffering and death.  Sr. Denise Coghlan of JRS Cambodia reflects on her desire to accompany refugees in their own suffering.

Reflections for Prayer

Sadly, suffering is a very strong part of the refugee experience. Years ago when asked why I wanted to join JRS I found myself spontaneously echoing the words of Karl Rahner:Whenever suffering is present in the world there the cross of Christ is mysteriously present and I want to be there.

Fr. Mateo Aguirre, who has worked with JRS in Africa for many years, seemed to have the same feeling when he wrote: The call of those who suffer is the driving force behind our presence here in the Grands Lacs region. We are children of the same Father; they are my brothers and sisters. They are also victims of the greed and manipulation of those who struggle to gain power.

Commitment is tiring and stressful. We must live it in the light of this mystery because, from a human perspective, it makes little sense. What gives me strength is love beyond death.

Adapted from God in Exile, 2005, by Fr. Gary Smith, S.J.

Suggested Reading for Prayer
Philippians 2:5-11

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.

Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.