Mission Report – November 19, 2015

November 18, 2015

The horror of Paris still dominates the headlines. In the highly charged response it has been declared an attack on our freedom, but this response needs some examination. In their logic, the terrorists would also claim they acted in freedom to defend and expand their world view -“ so the language of freedom risks becoming nothing more than an -I say -“ you say- argument. The notion of freedom as the argument cannot stand alone.

I wish to suggest that what we have witnessed is an attack on truth, as violence is always an attack on truth. When we see the images or hear the details reported, our spontaneous and inevitable reaction is revulsion. In a real way, we too feel violated and a connection to the suffering of the victims. What we are feeling is the violation of the inherent dignity of the victims. The truth is this dignity is prior to any concept of rights, freedom or nationhood and connects us in the most fundamental way. Our faith tells us that this dignity is a gift from God and cannot be taken away, but any action that offends human dignity, from conception to natural death, is an act of violence and the violation of the one dignity which we all share. This is why we search for an appropriate response to acts on the other side of the world.

As we farewell our Year 12 class with Speech Night and the Valedictory Dinner, we are commissioning these young men into the world with an essential mission: to be men who will confront violence with the love of Christ. They are called to give witness to the dignity of every human person. The Cross of Jesus is our Way, our Truth and our Life; it is the communication, in the most profound human expression our suffering and hope, that shows us how to transform the violence that offends the truth of human dignity.- Let us find our response to violence in that truth.