Saturday, August 20, 2011

God's Tears in Mogadishu

On August 13 , photographer,  John Moore posted this image online:

Safia Adem mourns the death of her son Hamza Ali Faysal, 3, in a camp of displaced Somalis within the rubble of the Cathedral of Mogadishu on August 13, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The malnourished child died of sickness two weeks after fleeing with his family from famine and drought in far southern Somalia. The US government estimates that some 30,000 children have died in southern Somalia in the last 90 days from the crisis.

This contemporary image of a "Pieta" grieving the unaccountable loss of her son will be one of the enduring images I will hold during the  World Youth Day celebrations in Madrid. Although Mogadishu and Madrid seem worlds apart, I believe that WYD2011 needs the tears of God if all of us,young and young of heart are to live "Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith." (Colossians 2:7)

The ruins of the Cathedral of  Mogadishu  serve as a reminder of the futility of Church order when the core business of human rights is not witnessed.

The tears of Safia carry more grace and mercy than the angst and politics of both sides spending  money and energy defending or challenging  the new English translation texts of the Roman Missal.

The veil of  Safia carries more value and  reverence than the baroque vestments favoured by the curent Papacy and the promoters of the Extraordinary Rite.

The death of Hamza Ali Faysal,and the countless thousands of children who continue to die in this human tragedy have an equal right  to the support of  those who promote a pro life agenda as a touchstone of orthodoxy.

Safia's image of the tears of God challenges me more than any Episcopal Catechesis to live the words and deeds of  Jesus who came that "all may have life and . have it to the full". John 10:10

My Church's teaching of the "preferential option for the poor" measn that I will follow the news coming out of Mogadishu more than the news from Madrid