These days, both Jewish and Christian communities are celebrating very important festivities: Passover and Easter. In an Argentinian context, in which Christians are the majority and Judaism is a minority, I grew up thinking these were very different, opposite, and competing with one another. URI has helped me to understand this is not so.
They both have to do with passing over, moving, changing, and overcoming challenges. Both of these celebrations come from an event in history that has an impact in the life of the faithful today. Both of these are celebrated at home and with the community. Celebrations have very clear steps: a liturgy, an external visible expression of what is happening inside. The value of freedom, gratitude, life and internal transformation is present in both.
I am a Catholic. I enter this Sacred Week with open heart, allowing the call to be better to echo in my heart. I lifted the Palm last Sunday, and I will probably be moved in Mass this Thursday, remembering Jesus in his Last Supper and praying the Via Crucis to share his way to the Cross. I will feel the pain of Good Friday and celebrate Resurrection with a burst of joy. This has to do with my identity, with my beliefs, and with the path I have chosen in search of Truth. Also, I will greet my Jewish friends and accompany them in respect of their identity, their beliefs, and the path they have chosen in search of Truth. I will feel connected to them with what we share and enjoy the diversity of what is different. We will share the celebration of the encounter, the mutual appreciation, and the experience of interfaith understanding and dialogue.
This is what living into URI principles 1 to 5 means to me.
- The URI is a bridge-building organization, not a religion.
- We respect the sacred wisdom of each tradition, spiritual expression and indigenous tradition
- We respect the differences among religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions.
- We encourage members to deepen their roots in their own tradition.
- We listen and speak with respect to deepen mutual understanding and trust.