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Beatitudes Archives - St. Stephen's University

Seeing Christ in ‘the Other’

By | 2011, Europe | No Comments

Who is your “other?” You know, that person or group you may not like or don’t easily identify with? Do you see them as Christ or have you written them off on sheer judgement?  There are two lines in the Celtic Liturgy, which is a part of our morning prayer,  which reads “be in the heart of each to whom we speak and in the mouth of each who speaks unto us.” This brings our focus onto those around us instead of inward, as the world encourages. The particular ‘other’ I would like to focus on here amidst our wealthy, bustling,  seeming uncaring world is the poor. Not ‘other’ in a bad way necessarily but the fact that they are a very real yet disregarded part of the society in which we live. As we’ve been journeying we have seen much poverty. I remember most particularly watching a bearded man with a tattered used-to-be-white blanket strewn over his shoulder going from garbage can to garbage can searching for food. This reality never fails to tear apart the innermost part of my being.  I think when one chooses to see Christ in these people the perspective becomes not only obviously different, but has a stronger impact in the way one talks about and thinks about them. Much of the poverty here seems to be a result of physical disability: I saw one man with stubs for arms and a woman who is blind, to name only a couple. I know this painful compassion I feel is not out of my own goodness, but from the heart of God. In Luke’s recollection of the Beatitudes Jesus says: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. ..woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full, for you will be hungry… .”

Kelly