“Every time we end up fading away,
Despite our cries,
Despite our papers,
Despite being human
And having nothing to our names.
Done, we threw our humanity away.
The moment we saw the grass on the other side” (We are human too…Kae Finch).
As I attended the funeral of Fr Bijo CMI who had met with an accident, he was a young dedicated and zealous priest, actively involved in pastoral ministries. He crossed borders too soon and is now part of another land. Although these borders are painful, we gave him very respectful farewell. God draws the boarder of life and we have no grievance, while man made boarders are excruciating our hearts. Borders are made by blood and tears. Countries like US, which complained the most about the existence of border fences and walls, and vowed to bring them down forever, are now hurriedly constructing them. They believe that the refugees and migrants remain unintegrated. They are culturally, religiously and linguistically more different from the native people. We are in a very diverse community of faith; racially, ethnically, economically, and ideologically. This diversity should be respected, reflected and celebrated in our social ministry. In a polarised world, there is an inclination to jump to accusations of xenophobia and racism. In many areas of human life, we over-simplify things. The accusation of “pro-immigration” and “anti-immigration” do not do justice to the complexity of the situation.
The refugees and migrants reminds the world that their blood cries out to the conscience of each one of us. The response to the Lord’s appeal, “Where is your brother? His blood cries out to me.” In Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” the Lord promises refreshment and freedom to all the oppressed of our world, but in this task, the Lord needs our eyes and our hands to fulfil His promise. The complicit silence of many, should be condemned and they need our voice to protest the injustices committed.
The Lord needs our hearts to show His merciful love towards the least, the outcast, the abandoned, the marginalized. During the time of Kerala flood we thanked rescuers for embodying the parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to save the life of the poor man beaten by bandits, without asking where he was from, his reasons for travelling or his documents. The rescuers became witnesses of hope in the world. The sharing is at the heart of a true culture of solidarity. It is not just a question of giving one’s surplus to those in need, but of helping anyone who is excluded or marginalized to enter into the sphere of economic and human development.
Let the borders fade away from the mind of the people. If the caste, religion and nationality are tied to people, we have a responsibility to decipher the inner meaning, that we are called in a special way to serve the poor and vulnerable; to build bridges of solidarity among peoples of differing races and nations. The nations that enjoy greater prosperity should open their doors to the needy. Let us pray with Micah 6:8 “Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.”