On Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of Christ the King, drawing the Church's year to a close, and now we prepare to enter Advent, a season of pregnant expectation. Yet for many in our world, the images of a victorious Jesus reigning in glory may be hard to embrace or to believe in the midst of brutal violence and suffering.
Reports are coming in of civilian casualties not only from the heaviest aerial bombardment in the last five years, but also from exposure to chlorine gas. One frightened boy, exposed to this chemical weapon, asks a medical worker, "Am I going to die?" Food and basic supplies are running out; hospitals and schools have become targets for violence. Many are urging the international community to take action in response to crimes against humanity. It must be hard for any person of faith--whatever faith he or she professes--to see God in the midst of all this. How can the captives believe in Emmanuel, "God with us," when the exile IS so lonely, when God feels so absent?