Just a few weeks ago, Christians celebrated God becoming human—like us—in Jesus of Nazareth. Some spiritual writers say that, from the first moment of creation, God wanted to identify with us, to share fully in our human experience with its joys and sorrows. Because we are made in God’s image, we humans are wired to identify with the whole human race—not just with our own ethnic group, but with the entire human race. Last November, when a deadly earthquake struck Albania, all 13 neighboring countries showed this capacity to identify with the suffering of others. Even Serbia, traditionally hostile towards Albania, sent rescuers and condolences. Other Balkan countries with a history of animosity towards one another, found themselves united in the common goal of saving lives. “Trouble knows no boundaries,” one of the foreign rescuers told the media. But we need not wait for an earthquake to identify with and reach out to the suffering. Opportunities present themselves every day, to those who are alert and eager to help. Are you? Will you?
By Delores Dufner, OSB