By Sr. Paris Slapikas
For I was hungry, and you denied me food stamps;
I was homeless, and you gated your community;
Jobless, and you demanded to see my green card;
Naked, and you sexted me;
Weak and you exploited me;
Alone, and you avoided me;
Poor, and you called me lazy;
Sick, and you asked for my health insurance;
Lost, and you laughed at me;
Confused, and you mocked me;
A stranger, and you told me to go back where I came from;
In prison, and you patted yourself on the back for cleaning up the streets.
A Refugee, and you turned me away;
An immigrant too poor to pay the cost of legal entry,
but having the gall to desire a better life anyway, and you built a wall.
A Muslim, and you hated me.
(Matthew 25: 35-49 updated)
- Fr. Joe Veneroso
I can hardly watch the news without being saddened by the latest stories of entire populations of people (immigrants, refugees, gays, Muslims, those who are poor, etc.) being targeted by those in power. Or, by those who simply act out of unawareness or fear. Fr. Veneroso courageously sheds light on the experiences of many people across our country today. I invite you to reflect on how you are being called to respond at this time.
My prayer is this:
May our lives bear witness to the Gospel in the midst of such political and social unrest. May our eyes be open to see the needs of others in our midst and our hearts be moved to respond. May we seek to find ways to advocate and support those who are being marginalized. And, may we be a source of HOPE and LOVE for all.