Thursday, March 20, 2014

Trust. -Jackie Martinez

Father Manfred Signing His Book for Our Group
"This world is not lost, and God does care." Today we heard a lecture from Father Manfred, and these words of his really spoke out to me. As I mentioned in my first blog post, Father Manfred spoke a lot about trust and healing, and in today's lecture on "Where was God?" he continued more on the topic of trust. At our first lecture, Father Manfred discussed trust in the context of the Poles/Jews and the Germans. Could they trust the outside world, both the perpetrators and the bystanders, again? Today, he discussed it in the context of the Jews and God. Instead of asking "Where was God during the holocaust," Father Manfred told us a more appropriate question would be "Can this relationship of trust still exist?" Well, can it?

Some people believe that if God truly loved His people, then He would not have stood by and let this tragic event just happen. He should've done something. After all, there existed a covenant with the Jewish people in which God would help them through anything. However, WE are the ones who are supposed to remain faithful in the covenant. Furthermore, God was not responsible for the deaths in the Shoah because he did not kill those people. Humanity was responsible for the Shoah, and because of that, Father Manfred explained that God turned away so that we would not see him crying. He cries and turns away so we do not see because He is upset that we would be the ones to be unfaithful to the covenant by not respecting the dignity of all humans. By weeping for humanity, though, God is revealing His love for us. He did not abandon the Jewish people and all those suffering during the Shoah. I mentioned in my previous post that God was present through the acts of those who saved or improved the lives of others during the war and the Shoah, and He was. Furthermore, because He was present, this trust between God and His people has not been broken.

Today's lecture, as well as our first lecture from Father Manfred, definitely helped my understanding of trust and healing. He said, "The real wound of Auschwitz was not the killing of people but the killing of relationships." How could a group of people forgive and ever trust another group that wanted them exterminated? We can use God's love as a template for beginning to trust again. The way we have to listen to God is the same way we have to listen to others. By listening, we are able to open our hearts, according to Father Manfred, and I agree with this. Something I learned from today's lecture that helped me to understand what was taught at the first lecture was that even though we may come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives on different situations, we have a lot more in common than we think. In the context of the Shoah, the Jewish, Christian, and Polish perspectives all have one thing in common: the foundation of the Bible, that God is good and created everything in his image and likeness, thus making humanity inherently good. In order for healing to occur in a post-Auschwitz world, healing must first occur in relationships so that trust can be built again.

I mentioned in my first post that what I learned in the first lecture could be applied in everyday life, and the same can be said for today's lecture as well. Trust goes beyond just the Shoah; trust is important in any relationship, no matter how big or small. When that trust is broken, it may seem like it can never be healed. But it can be. Because of this common belief that humans, being made in the image of God, are inherently good, we can infer from this that humans are also capable of redemption and forgiveness. If people are willing to be faithful towards God and loving towards others, healing can occur.


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