|Our Lady of Akita|
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink."As the human impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan slowly sinks in, and the images shift from the impersonal to the personal, we are reminded of what is important in life. It is not houses or cars, it is people.
– Matthew 25:35
As Christians we are called to value human life above all other things on earth. We are called to love our neighbor as ourself.
Houses can be rebuilt, but each individual is a unique creation of God and can never be replaced. Christians don't refer to human life in some abstract sense, but in a very personal sense. We understand that each individual is a child of God.
Jesus tells us that God knows each of us personally. And He tells us not to fear the physical death of the body.
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."We pray for the souls of all the victims of the earthquake in Japan. It does not matter if they are Christians or non-Christians. We know that God is merciful and we trust in His judgement.
– Matthew 10:28-31
In a time of great sorrow and grieving, we pray for those who have suffered and lost loved ones. We pray that they will find comfort in the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We pray for those who are assigned duties in the rescue efforts. We pray for miracles of survival against all odds.
We pray for faith, hope and love. Faith in God. Hope in the future. And love of our neighbor.
"If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing....
Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends....
Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
– Excerpts from 1 Corinthians 13