A moving tribute to Fr Frans van der Lugt shot dead in Homs, Syria on 7 April 2014, by his brother Jesuit Patrick Gilger
This might be what I like most about believing in Jesus: the ability to not have to know. To not have to drape the white sheet of language over its emptiness. To not have to rope this event to reason in order to pull it, hand over hand, back from beyond the cliff of rationality where it hangs. To not have to be the one who gives meaning to the fact that an old man, one who liked ice cream and Zen and hiking retreats with Mass and reflections, was shot in the head three days before he turned 76. It is not a Christian’s job.
We human beings are not the ones who get to make this death meaningful. God is the one who breathes life, calls us from the grave, makes any death—even a martyrdom, even this one, even if it becomes the catalyst for peace in Syria—meaningful.
Which does not make our remembering, or our actions in memory of, or the action of remembering, mean nothing. Not in the least. Instead it puts us, like St. Peter, in our place. In the deep waters, casting our nets into the wide sea, knowing that we are not the ones who place the fish.