Katalin Kariko, a Hungarian migrant to America, has written a book about her experience of pursuing her passion in medical science research. She had a hard time getting to America and an even harder time keeping her place in the university which accepted her. She wasn’t earning her keep, they said, she was not writing scientific papers. Eventually she turned up one day at her place of work to find all her papers and files dumped outside her laboratory and her place taken.

But there were those who knew what she was doing and her book, Breakthrough, describes her eventually joining a team which discovered the vaccine for COVID. She went from rejection to acclamation. Her hidden solitary struggle was recognised and tears came to her eyes when she was one of the first to receive the vaccine, she herself had done so much to find. Her life was hidden but then it was revealed.

She was a migrant, one of those the rich world wants to bar from entry. When the Irish migrants made their way to America 150 years ago, they were not all desperate and starving. Recent research into their bank accounts in New York by Tyler Anbinder led to him too writing a book, Plentiful Country, in which he shows many of them had money and were enterprising people who soon found their way in America and became examples of the ‘American Dream.’ Among them were the ancestors of four American presidents.

When Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem and embraced his terrible destiny, no one, not even his closest companions, had any idea what he was doing. It was hidden from them. It took them time before they could begin to grasp what he did and then their hearts ‘burned within them’. We can be blind to what is going on around us. People have their hidden lives. These will be revealed one day for even the littlest of our brothers and sisters. Despite all the evil we know too well, our faith and our cultures tell us to reverence others and recognise that, even if in a hidden way, most people do the best they can and contribute to the progress of our human family. ‘Their lives are hidden’; the words from Colossians 3:3 tell us and they conclude, ‘with Christ in God.’

What happened in what we call ‘Holy Week’ is hidden from the eyes of many today. And even those who remember it can blunt the story so that it no longer has an edge. It is the drama of the climax of Jesus’ life but it is also the light that shines in the darkness of each of us. It is our story.

24 March 2024      Palm Sunday         Is 50:4-7      Ph 2:6-11     Mk 14:1-15:47

Post published in: Faith

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