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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Solidarity: Giving Ourselves

He who was from the beginning, whom we have heard, whom we have seen with our eyes, upon whom we have gazed, and whom our hands have certainly touched: He is the Word of Life
1 John 1:1
The greatest act of solidarity is when God himself became man so that he can be heard, seen, examined and touched. By doing this, God enters the brokenness of human condition to be one with us and to raise us back to our original dignity.
The sad thing though, is solidarity is reduced to giving money to the poor, or doing what we think are good works, which most of the time, makes things worse. With this approach, “I” am still doing the work and “I” dictate what is to be done. Solidarity begins by discerning God’s will. We do not know the answers nor can we solve the problem on our own.
Solidarity has to be based first and foremost, on our love for God which will flow to our love for fellowmen. It is being one with the person who is hurting. Being in solidarity is to be WITH them and NOT solving their problems.
Jesus came to give life, not by giving money nor by solving all the world’s problems. He came to live among us (John 1:14) to show the glory of the Father. Pope Benedict XVI, in one of his books, asks what Jesus brought when there are still a lot of problems in the world. He answers his own question by saying Jesus brought us God. He made God accessible to humanity.
Jesus is God who is with us in our difficulties and sufferings. He is with us not necessarily to take away our sufferings, but to lead us through them to victory! By being one with us, he shows the dignity God has planned for us and he proves this by rising from the dead so we can live with him forever. Jesus gave himself for us so we can be with him. Solidarity is about giving ourselves to others and in doing so, we bring God to those who are suffering.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. (Prayer attributed to St Francis)

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