സുവിശേഷം പറയുന്നതുപോലെ പ്രതിസന്ധികളെ കാണാൻ മറക്കുന്നതുകൊണ്ടു മാത്രമല്ല, സുവിശേഷം ആദ്യംതന്നെ നമ്മെ പ്രതിസന്ധിയിലാക്കുന്നു എന്നതു മറന്നുപോകുന്നതുകൊണ്ടാണ് നമ്മൾ പ്രതിസന്ധികളിൽ കുഴങ്ങുന്നതെന്നു ഫ്രാൻസിസ് മാർപാപ്പ.
നമ്മിലെ നെല്ലും പതിരും പാറ്റപ്പെടുന്ന നല്ല അവസരമാണു പ്രതിസന്ധി (crisis). മനുഷ്യരെ സ്നേഹിതരും ശത്രുക്കളുമായി വിഭജിക്കുന്ന സംഘർഷാവസ്ഥയിൽ (conflict) നിന്നു ഭിന്നമാണ് അതെന്നു പാപ്പ പറഞ്ഞു.
പ്രതിസന്ധികളെ സുവിശേഷവെളിച്ചത്തിൽ കാണുന്നതിൽ പരാജയപ്പെടുന്നവർ വെറും പോസ്റ്റ്മോർട്ടം പരിശോധന മാത്രം നടത്തുകയാണെന്നും വർഷാന്ത്യത്തിൽ വത്തിക്കാൻ കൂരിയയുമായി നടത്തിയ വാർഷിക കൂടിക്കാഴ്ചയിൽ പാപ്പ തുറന്നടിച്ചു.
മാർപാപ്പയുടെ പ്രസംഗത്തിലെ പ്രസക്തഭാഗങ്ങൾ ചുവടെ:
Gospel is the first to put us in crisis: Pope Francis
The pandemic has been a time of trial and testing, but also a significant opportunity for change of mind and renewed authenticity.
“The storm has exposed our vulnerability and uncovered those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It has shown us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities.
“The tempest has laid bare all our prepackaged ideas and our forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts to anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We have lost the antibodies we needed to confront adversity.
In this storm, the facade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, which we cannot evade: our belonging to one another as brothers and sisters.
As I stated at the beginning of the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti: “It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity. Brotherhood between all men and women.
“Here we have a splendid secret that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure. No one can face life in isolation… We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together… By ourselves, we risk seeing mirages, things that are not there. On the other hand, dreams, are built together. Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.
The crisis of the pandemic is a fitting time to reflect briefly on the meaning of a crisis, which can prove beneficial to us all. A crisis is something that affects everyone and everything. Crises are present everywhere and in every age of history, involving ideologies, politics, the economy, technology, ecology and religion. A crisis is a necessary moment in the history of individuals and society. It appears as an extraordinary event that always creates a sense of trepidation, anxiety, upset and uncertainty in the face of decisions to be made. We see this in the etymological root of the verb krino: a crisis is the sifting that separates the wheat from the chaff after the harvest.
The Bible itself is filled with individuals who were “sifted”, “people in crisis” who by that very crisis played their part in the history of salvation. Yet the most eloquent crisis was that of Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels point out that he began his public life by experiencing the crisis of temptation. It might seem that the central character in this situation was the devil with his false promises, yet the real protagonist was the Holy Spirit. For he was guiding Jesus at this decisive moment in his life: “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Mt 4:1). The Evangelists stress that the forty days Jesus spent in the desert were marked by the experience of hunger and weakness (cf. Mt 4:2; Lk 4:2). It was precisely from the depths of this hunger and weakness that the evil one sought to make his final move, taking advantage of Jesus’ human fatigue. Yet in that man weak from fasting the tempter experienced the presence of the Son of God who could overcome temptation by the word of God, and not his own. Jesus never enters into dialogue with the devil. We need to learn from this. There can be no dialogue with the devil. Jesus either casts him out or forces him to reveal his name. With the devil, there can be no dialogue.
Jesus was then to face an indescribable crisis in Gethsemane: solitude, fear, anguish, the betrayal of Judas and abandonment by his Apostles (cf. Mt 26:36-50). Finally, there was the extreme crisis on the cross: an experience of solidarity with sinners even to the point of feeling abandoned by the Father (cf. Mt 27:46). Yet with utter confidence he “commended his spirit into the hands of the Father” (cf. Lk 23:46). His complete and trusting surrender opened the way to the resurrection (cf. Heb 5:7).
Those who fail to view a crisis in the light of the Gospel simply perform an autopsy on a cadaver. They see the crisis, but not the hope and the light brought by the Gospel. We are troubled by crises not simply because we have forgotten how to see them as the Gospel tells us to, but because we have forgotten that the Gospel is the first to put us in crisis. If we can recover the courage and humility to admit that a time of crisis is a time of the Spirit, whenever we are faced with the experience of darkness, weakness, vulnerability, contradiction and loss, we will no longer feel overwhelmed. Instead, we will keep trusting that things are about to take a new shape, emerging exclusively from the experience of a grace hidden in the darkness. “For gold is tested in the fire and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation” (Sir 2:5).
I would urge you not to confuse crisis with conflict. They are two different things. Crisis generally has a positive outcome, whereas conflict always creates discord and competition, an apparently irreconcilable antagonism that separates others into friends to love and enemies to fight. In such a situation, only one side can win.
Conflict always tries to find “guilty” parties to scorn and stigmatize, and “righteous” parties to defend, as a means of inducing an (often magical) sense that certain situations have nothing to do with us. This loss of the sense of our common belonging helps to create or consolidate certain elitist attitudes and “cliques” that promote narrow and partial mind-sets that weaken the universality of our mission. “In the midst of conflict, we lose our sense of the profound unity of reality” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 226).