Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A Hostage-taking & a Ransom for Many

...just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:28

Ten days ago there was yet another cowardly terrorist attack in France. Several innocent people died including a policeman, Lt.-Col. Arnaud Beltrame. Beltrame courageously offered himself as a substitute for a hostage, then died in the exchange of gunfire that ended this incident. The woman whose life he saved by giving up his own was just buying groceries, but the selfless act of this police commander meant she was set free.

At the time we were about to enter Holy Week and I thought about his selfless act in the context of Jesus and his self-sacrifice which is at the core of our Christian faith.

It turns out that someone else, Beltrame's widow, was thinking the same way. She was fully aware of her husband's Christian faith, which was nurtured by his relationship with the nearby Abbey of Lagrasse. Arnaud did not die immediately and one of the monks came to the hospital and administered the last rights. And she was aware that his death for another came as Christians around the world were about to acknowledge the risky and loving choices by Jesus of Nazareth which culminated in the crucifixion, then the promise of Easter.

We can all be grateful when we hear the stories of self-giving love, wherever they occur. I hope that our Christian story of sorrow and celebration stays with us, and motivates us to live with courage and compassion.



roger said...

Amaud is truly a hero, and you hear about individuals like him who know they are sacrificing themselves to save someone else. It happened in the Vegas shooting and it's happened in some of the school shootings in the US. It's a reminder that among the pure evil that exists, there is also incredible good.

David Mundy said...

Very true Roger.