Today’s gospel reading presents us with the image of a bruised, trembling woman caught in the act of adultery at Jesus’ feet.
As she fears for her life, Jesus preaches to the men who are prepared to stone her for her sins. And as they hear Jesus’ message and reasoning, they, one by one, drop their stones.
Now, let us fast forward to the United States today. To my surprise and great fear, I find myself in the same place as that trembling woman during my country’s 2016 election year.
Immigrants must be thrown out. Mexico is our enemy. Bigger borders must be built.
As a Mexican American, my family and I find ourselves at the feet of Jesus fearing for our dignity as divisive political rhetoric builds in America. In a sense, it can almost feel like an offense, a sin, to be Latino in this country. This reality is seen in the brutal beatings of and racist remarks against Latinos that have escalated during this campaign.
But there is hope, there is strength. As my people, my family and I hold onto to Jesus’ feet, we hear Jesus protecting us. How? Well, we Latino people are uniting and speaking up against such exclusion and hatred. White, black, Asian and Native Americans are standing by our side. The Church is speaking on behalf of our rights. And best of all, the Pope has even commented on the issue.
We, the Latino people, pray that these stones slowly begin to drop in America. This will occur when Americans begin to listen to reason and to Jesus’ message of brotherhood. It is a message rooted in an important American truth: with the exception of Natives, all Americans are or once were immigrants.
1. What is my own immigrant history? Reflect on the struggles, hardships and discrimination you and/or your immigrant ancestors endured to become Americans.
2. How did Jesus help during this tribulation?
Andrés Arteaga is an artist, dancer and writer (as well as a former Jesuit). He promotes the arts in marginalized communities as tool to overcome social oppression. He plans to pursue an MFA in Arts and Politics in the near future.