The Silence of Our Friends

Not such a sabbath-y subject, but I meant to post this yesterday -- on the silence of American Christians when 150,000 Christians/ year are being slaughtered for their faith.

As usual, Jews to the rescue:
It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best. In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliament saying, “I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed … that it is not more widely known.” “It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ That is why I felt I could not be silent today.”

The link above will take you to other links documenting the systematic driving of Christians from the birthplaces of Christendom: not only the Holy Land, but Alexandria, Antioch, etc. Plus Kenya.
This morning there's another headline:  Islamists attacked a college in Nigeria.

Read the Kristen Powers link and ask yourself where are the Churches? Why are most of them silent? That came to mind this morning as I was thinking about the Holy Father's recent address to catechists. The Pope reflects on some harsh words of rebuke from the prophet Amos: "“Woe to the complacent in Zion, to those who feel secure … lying upon beds of ivory!”
What is it that this messenger of God denounces; what does he want his contemporaries, and ourselves, to realize? The danger of complacency, comfort, worldliness in our lifestyles and in our hearts, of making our well-being the most important thing in our lives. This was the case of the rich man in the Gospel, who dressed in fine garments and daily indulged in sumptuous banquets; this was what was important for him. And the poor man at his doorstep who had nothing to relieve his hunger? That was none of his business, it didn’t concern him. Whenever material things, money, worldliness, become the centre of our lives, they take hold of us, they possess us; we lose our very identity as human beings. The rich man in the Gospel has no name, he is simply “a rich man”. Material things, his possessions, are his face; he has nothing else.

Let’s try to think: How does something like this happen? How do some people, perhaps ourselves included, end up becoming self-absorbed and finding security in material things which ultimately rob us of our face, our human face? This is what happens when we no longer remember God. If we don’t think about God, everything ends up being about “me” and my own comfort. Life, the world, other people, all of these become unreal, they no longer matter, everything boils down to one thing: having. When we no longer remember God, we too become unreal, we too become empty; like the rich man in the Gospel, we no longer have a face! Those who run after nothing become nothing – as another great prophet Jeremiah, observed (cf. Jer 2:5). We are made in God’s image and likeness, not that of material objects, not that of idols!
You should RTWT --it's quite lovely what he says about the role of catechists in preserving and handing on the memory of God. But what called my attention was the inability to see our neighbor and stand up for him.