BY GUEST BLOGGER | April 10, 2014
written by: Hannah Coley, Loyola University Chicago ’16, ISN Media Team
“Are we a throwaway culture?” Pope Francis calls our generation to consider this question as we, a united body of brothers and sisters in Christ, reflect upon the extreme issue of United States’ Immigration Reform as a human rights issue and call into question how we are currently administering to those thrown into the societal margins of inequality.
“A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization-all typical of a throwaway culture- towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.”-Pope Francis
As students of Christ, we are called to reflection this Lenten season. How are we summoned to break the bonds of a “throwaway culture” and unjust society? At the recent Student Summit on Immigration Reform hosted on Loyola University Chicago’s campus, keynote speaker Sister Mary Ellen Lacy challenged all of us attendees to reflect upon our role as members of the Ignatian Family. She posed the interesting question of, “If you were present at the 1st Good Friday, or perhaps during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, how would you have acted or involved yourself?”
We live in a society in which conformity is a normalcy and the issue of social injustice is a disregarded aspect of our everyday lives. The issue of immigration in the U.S. may not be as overt of an issue such as poverty, homelessness, or perhaps racial discrimination; however, immigration reform will touch the lives of approximately 11.5 undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. So, do we stand for justice or do we conform? If we stand for justice, how do we go about doing so effectively?
In looking towards the effectiveness of our actions and advocacy for social reform, we may ask ourselves, “Why does our loving God even allow injustice to persist? What has he done about it?” The current issues of social justice may seem impossible to abolish or conquer, and our political systems may be cruel and numb to the value and dignity of even the most vulnerable of humanity, but in recognizing our world’s problems and affronts against our fellow humankind and understanding that we are capable of changing society and of changing hearts, we can also recognize God’s ultimate purpose for us as members of the Ignatian social justice movement. God created humanity to generate peace and foster goodness, even out of situations of strife and inequality. As human beings, we are members of God’s incredible and wholly good creation. As members of God’s creation, we are inherently good and are obligated to seek justice in our world. With this potential to seek social justice and create peace within parts of our society that are corrupt and insensitive to the needs and worth of our least brother and sisters, we can truly transform the world on the basis of love. We are each other’s keepers. We are “Men and Women For and WITH Others.” A.M.D.G.