Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Couple of Reflections in the Aftermath of Boston Tragedy

Photo: Rene Ronquillo
All of us were affected in one way or another by the fatal explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon earlier this week. Anger, sorrow, confusion are probably some of the emotions that we felt.  I would like to share excerpts of some reflections from a couple of people whose writings always inspire me. 

The first piece was written by Steve Garnaas-Holmes, a United Methodist pastor who lives in Massachusetts, the state where the tragedy occurred.  Pastor Garnaas-Holmes published the piece in his blog Unfolding Light.

The second excerpt is from Jesuit Father James Martin, a contributing editor for America magazine.

Marathon Kindness
Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes

After yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombings, people around the world are praying for this city, and the people affected by the violence. But don’t stop there: pray for the whole world. After all, it’s really the world’s marathon. I’ve been there near the finish line, surrounded by people of every nation. As the winner runs by, a crowd breaks out in the national anthem—of Kenya. I’m sure you noticed all the international flags in the news videos. It’s the whole world’s race. And today we’re a part of the whole world’s pain. We share the trauma and grief that much of the world lives in every day. This is not Boston’s unique pain. It is everyone’s. Pray for the the healing of the world

People say, “Be strong.” We will, yes, we will. But the world does not need strength. What the world needs is kindness. The world needs people who have the courage to be gentle, even when those around them are full of rage and despair and violence, who refuse to join the world’s bitterness. The world needs people who choose love over fear. That’s the only thing that will actually change the world.  Read full version of Marathon Kindness  

Good Friday on Boylston Street
James Martin, S.J.

Seeing injury come to the city was shocking, difficult to comprehend in such a familiar setting—the Jesuit community in Back Bay, on Newbury Street, is only a block away from site of the bombings. It was the same here in New York on September 11, 2001. Familiar surroundings, laden with happy memories, suddenly became places of immense sadness.

But suffering is never the last word. There is always the possibility of new life. How will this happen? It may be difficult to see now, as it was impossible for the disciples on Good Friday to see, but the God who has suffered is ready to help us, and always holding out the promise of something new, something that will help us move beyond the blood and tears.

That was true in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago and it is true in Boston today.  Read full version of Good Friday on Boylston Street

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