When Deacon Greg Kandra showed me his homily for yesterday, I wrote to him that he had written “the best piece I have yet seen on the slaughter of Iraqi Christians; it rounds out what is missing in the secular coverage.”
One of the [Iraqi] parishioners put it so simply, and so beautifully. He said that he returned because the week before he hadn’t finished his prayers. I need to finish them, he said. A woman with a bandage around her knee told a reporter, “We forgive them. We’re not afraid. They gave us blood and we give them forgiveness.”
And then there is 28-year-old Helen Amir, a young mother, who did not belong to Our Lady of Salvation, but began going there last week to show solidarity.
Because we are the Body of Christ. We suffer together. We grieve together. We persevere together.
We are the Body of Christ. We get up when we fall. We move forward when we stumble. We forgive when we are wounded.
St. Teresa of Avila once famously said that Christ has no body on earth but yours — he needs our eyes, hands, and feet to do his work.
We are the Body of Christ. We continue what Christ began.
And as the Body of Christ, we also await a resurrection.
That is our greatest hope.
The people of Our Lady of Salvation understand that. Their prayers and lit candles and continued presence in a place of destruction stand as a testament to that — a beautiful hope that will not die.
If you have not read the entire homily please do take a few minutes. Share it with your friends and your children. Perhaps read it at the dinner table, tonight, with your spouse, over coffee, or tomorrow, with a co-worker, on break.
If you wish to send a message to the Iraqi Christians of Baghdad, there is still time before tomorrow night
Reza Aslan wonders about our State Department’s silence