Tonight, the news compared the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to the current situation in Japan. In doing so, the stories of those who averted greater disaster were recounted. At Chernobyl, the workers who reentered the facility to contain the meltdown did so knowing that it would be their own demise. Within three months of containment, they all died.
Today we hear of Japanese workers making the same sacrifice. They are giving their lives for their countrymen, and are doomed to be the walking dead for next several months. Radiation poisoning of this magnitude rarely is pretty and pleasant to the human body. These workers, of all people, know and understand the pain this will place on their lives for the next several months. Yet, they lay down their lives.
Stories of such noble sacrifice challenge my own heart and life. Could I do the same? For, I struggle to make minuscule sacrifices for my family and fellow man.
As Christians, we believe that the Incarnation and Sacrifice of Christ lie at the heart of reality. Reality is crucified love and in this image man was made. It is with hope and joy that across all times and peoples, this image burst forth as man (perhaps unknowingly) reflects in sacrifice the heart of his Creator.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (The Gospel of St. John 15:13).