April 7, 2023 § Leave a comment
Jesus on the cross is Good Friday‘s most “popular” image. And it’s not far away from what many people go through somewhere, not always far away, actually never far away, from us.
The war in Ukraine, the bombings in Israel and the never ending conflict at the occupied Palestinian territories, the civilian pain and hunger in Afghanistan, the many forgotten wars, ecological disasters in the so-called Global South, the bloody borders of the so-called Western World, deathly traps for refugees, for people who run away from all catastrophes mentioned. Crossed people, crossed nature and closed crossings, on land, on water, and often, in our minds.
Last week in Switzerland I enjoyed the majestic landscape and the cities of the well-living. I also visited though an underground military fortress and bunker, built in the 1930s, now a military museum. Few people know that neutral Switzerland is actually a highly weaponised country and producer of military equipment. It is a country fascinated by the idea of self defence, of being prepared for an upcoming attack. Historically it has certainly to do with having the German Reich as a neighbour, partly to profit from, partly to be scared of, but the fascination with the own military efficiency didn’t change even decades after all neighbour countries stopped being a threat.
The gorgeous Swiss mountains are thoroughly pierced with tunnels and bunkers, its citizens are as armed as any US one, and they are even very proud of their naval (!) forces. On top of all that Switzerland is still greatly powered by nuclear energy.
There is the world we see, the majestic Alps, the beautiful rural landscapes, the rich cities with their international inhabitants, but there’s more than what we see on first sight, as there is everywhere of course, and therefore Switzerland stands as a metaphor for my reflections today.
Good Friday has always been a day to think of our dead and of the people suffering, near and far away. It is also a day to think of what is worth living for, of what is worth taking a stand for, of how much can we do, offer, say to help others in need, to better this world. Yes, let’s do not lose hope or will to do just that.
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