Day 37: Identity and Security

BY JACQUES ST LAURENT, S.J. | March 26, 2015
Today’s Readings 

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3-26In the first reading, Abram assumes the new identity of ‘Abraham’ as a sign of his covenant with God, in which he is promised a glorious future in the land of Canaan.

In contrast, Jesus has his identity challenged by the ‘Jews’ when he promises deathlessness to those who ‘keep his word.’ Instead of justifying himself with an appropriate title (such as S.T.D.), Jesus situates his identity in his relationship to his Father. In doing so, he assumes a universal identity, which transcends religion or tribe, expressed simply by ‘I AM.’ The ‘Jews’ refuse to accept this, so Jesus must face the insecurity of fleeing for his life.

Water is a resource linking all humanity. Single rivers and aquifers often cross multiple geopolitical boundaries, demanding multilateral cooperation in the face of competing interests. Increasing water scarcity is often a catalyst for discrimination between nations, ethnicities, and even socioeconomic groups. The resultant tension and conflict among peoples tends to exacerbate questions of identity and security. A peaceful resolution to water scarcity is contingent on how we choose to respond to these questions.

Reflection Questions:

  • Where does the water I use and consume on a daily basis come from?
  • Who or what (including ecosystems) might be denied adequate water for my sake?

Jacques recently completed a Masters at the University of Victoria, Canada, where he was examining the impact of climate change and land development of drinking source water. Following this, he spent a while wandering the world by foot, bicycle, boat, bus, and (very guiltily) the occasional airplane. He had fun, but ended up somewhat exhausted. He has returned to his homeland of England, in a similar fashion to the Prodigal Son, and is trying to act like a promising candidate for the British Jesuits.

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