On Learning to Betray one’s People

On Learning to Betray One’s People: The Gospel and a Culture of Peace in Africa.” The 2014 Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Lecture on Mission and Culture Chicago Theological Union, Chicago 9/29, 2014

For Christian faith to offer a radical interruption to the endless cycles of violence in Africa, it has to be grounded within an explicit missiological vision of “Ephesian” identities and communities, for which the story of the 40 young students of Buta provides a most illuminating example. In the Fall of 1997, roused from their sleep by a group of militia and ordered to separate, Hutu on one side, and Tutsi on the other., the students refused. The commander order the militia to shoot. In all 40 students were killed. One of the students who had been wounded ran to the rector’s house, and gasping for breath told the rector: “Father, we have won. They told us to separate and we refused. We have won.” He then collapsed and died.

Missiological reflection in Africa must seek to illumine the logic of that odd “winning” and about the kind of practices that make it possible….. click on link to read the 2014 Luzbetak Lecture

Remember Nelson Mandela: A Homily

The following homily was given at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame on December 13th, 2013, on the occasion of a Mass of Justice and Peace in memory of Nelson Mandela.

How does one who spent twenty seven years of brutal imprisonment, emerge from that jail with one of the most endearing and genuine smiles the world has seen? How can one who suffered the most debasing and dehumanizing cruelties and injustices, forgive his jailers?How can one deprived of his freedom for so many years turn out to be one of the most free persons?These and similar questions have been on our minds since Thursday when we learnt of the passing of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. 

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