(A reflection written in August 2010)
As I begin to write this, the first of the Chilean miners are emerging from their long captivity underground. At the same time the death of Linda Norgrove is high on the list of news items. I have reflected on both of these incidents as moments of “Discovering and making known the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ”.
It is very difficult to come to terms with the death of an extraordinary young woman who literally gave her life in service to those in need, particularly in Afghanistan. Her deep love of the Afghan people led her to give all in the ultimate sacrifice in death. Through Linda I discover that total love and generosity lived by Jesus, and leading to that same ultimate sacrifice.
The Chilean miners is that story in reverse! After 17 days of silence from the damaged mine, and fading hopes for their survival, they were discovered to be alive and relatively safe! Then, an explosion of emotion and activity and joy; fresh anxiety as to whether they could be rescued; hope; solidarity amongst the families; creativity in keeping contact with the men; a two month vigil beside the mine as the rescue attempt began; international co-operation to bring the necessary technology. A saga played out in human lives about how much God does love us and wants us to be happy, as Jesus revealed in his very human life with us, and through the on-going presence of the Holy Spirit.