Bring them here to me…

IMG_5747_mappano72-1220x763A friend posted this image on her Facebook page, well – the same image, a different shot. This was taken in a shelter in Mexico, La 72. It is a map that shows migrants the way, along with train tracks and danger zones, as well as shelters. The journey undertaken by immigrants is a desperate and dangerous one. Here is one article, the one where I found this image; it is from Oxfam.

There is that old video (old = May 2018) of the president calling out people as animals. Apparently he was talking about MS-13 gang members. Are they animals? Are Nazis and white supremacists animals? Are serial killers animals? I would have to say no. What I would say is that some people make horrific and heinous choices, undertake vile actions, and choose to behave in evil ways, but are they animals? No, I would not say that ever, because of my faith and my belief in the dignity inherent in all human beings. I cry and rage over those – from MS-13 to Trump and all the others making dark choices, but their dignity remains present whether or not they choose it.

Are we “full?” Not really. Are we broke? Not really, although I suspect that we will financially harmed by the current administration. If I ever hear about “tax and spend Democrats again” I may have a heart attack. We do not have the funds? I’m pretty sure that we could find them if we had the political and moral will to do so – but we lack either virtue as a nation.

christ-feeding-5000Here is my little sermon for anyone left reading/listening… In Matthew 14:13 Jesus has withdrawn to a deserted place to Continue reading

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Bridges and walls

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Bishop Kicanas distributes the Body of Christ during mass at the border wall in 2014.

In December of 2018, the Republican controlled Senate in Washington passed a short term funding bill that would keep the government open until February 2019. The president initially indicated that he would sign it. This was not ideal, but anything, as we know, is better than a shutdown. This bill passed by voice with no dissent – no dissent at all. It was contentious to get there, but this was something that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to pass to get through the holidays without a shutdown.

The president refused to sign anything that did not give him his wall money.

For reference, it should be remembered that Continue reading

Is there another way?

 

Epiphany means many things, but in the context of this day, it is a kind of spark of understanding something new. In that way, the Magi follow a star in the sky and make their way to the Holy Land, wanting to see the newborn king. It would make sense to them to check in with the current king, after all, they themselves were kings, right?

Clearly Herod was not too happy to hear about another king. He was not so secure in his power, he was angry and defensive, he had a huge ego, and he wanted things his way, Continue reading

Shadow and light at the border

1531_Nuestra_Señora_de_Guadalupe_anagoriaToday there was a bit of  row in the Oval Office. Apparently if the wall is not built, terrible people will be streaming over the southern borders and making America worse by the minute.

The timing of this conversation and the impending (read: horrible) government shutdown has been on my mind. I just finished a book that took my breath away at every turn, a book that had me crying as I read its last words on its final page, a book about the border.

Add to all of this, today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. Of the many apparitions of Mary, the Mother of God, she may just be my favorite. Entire volumes have been written about her, so this short blog post won’t go into all of her details. If you need to know more about her, she is easily found.

For the sake of our post today, let it suffice to say that Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a universally present and beloved presence Continue reading

Monday mood

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Yes, I’m posting two days in a row – shocking, right? Anyway, with thoughts of immigration on my mind, this song is on my mind, it speaks to my Monday mood.

No one is more aware than I am that this issue began before the current administration. This administration has taken the situation to horrific ends. Part of the song deals with one of the band members, a #DREAMer named Jose “Pepe” Carlos who was brought here to the United States when he was five years old.

Elie Wiesel, a giant of a human being and now of blessed memory once said:

“You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?”

Open borders are not the answer, but fear and hatred are also not the answer. I’m not sure what the best path forward is, but I am sure that we are not on that path.

The band is La Santa Cecilia, and the song is ICE El Hielo. You can read more about the band and the song here.

The journey

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photo Tom Kiefer

Today’s Gospel reminded me of the now well documented photographs of objects confiscated from those who have been apprehended at the border, El sueño americano by Tom Kiefer. For those with any doubt, this has been verified. The rosaries received a lot of attention, but all of the items truly struck me, including the copies of El Nuevo Testamento that was so important to have. There were also the other items, the everyday things like combs, toothpaste, and so forth, as well as items from children.

As if it were not enough that we took away rosaries and New Testaments, now we take their children too. I can’t help but wonder what God thinks of all of this. Ultimately what we have really stolen from people is what little hope and dignity they had left after fleeing lives of extraordinary poverty, extreme and violence, lives with no future. If we stole their dignity and their hope, then I think we are really in trouble.

Right now I am thinking of the martyred apostles sent forth by Christ, unwelcome, considered unwanted and dangerous. To this day, many are killed bringing the light of Christ to others in dangerous places. We all know we cannot take anything on that final journey home to God whether we are an apostle or a beggar, a prophet or a king. In the Kingdom we arrive with only ourselves. Our hope for the Kingdom is for our dignity and integrity to be fully restored in the presence of God. Don’t you think that kind of reconciliation and restoration, at least to some extent, is what God asks of us here? This is our journey in Christ, to go out into the world as beacons of hope and light in his name, disciples always bearing the light of that same Jesus Christ who welcomed, healed, and saved all.