Think of a time when you went out of your way—at some risk to yourself—to encounter a person or a community. Why did you do it? What motivated you in that moment? Where did you see Christ?
REFLECTIONS FROM POPE FRANCIS:
“The Christian ideal will always be a summons to overcome suspicion, habitual mistrust, fear of losing our privacy, all the defensive attitudes which today’s world imposes on us. Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. For just as some people want a purely spiritual Christ, without flesh and without the cross, they also want their interpersonal relationships provided by sophisticated equipment, by screens and systems which can be turned on and off on command. Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.” (The Joy of the Gospel, 88)
FOR PRAYERFUL CONSIDERATION:
Who has been marginalized in your community? What role have you played in their marginalization? How can you manifest the radical love of Christ in order to break down barriers of injustice? What does the marginalized Christ teach you?
PROCESS: Embracing the Other
Fear, prejudice, ignorance, uncertainty—these are some of the things that keep us from encountering the marginalized Christ. Reflect on what prevents you from going to the margins. How can you overcome these obstacles?
CLOSING PRAYER:God of all people, inspire us to go to the margins and struggle with injustice.