“Your son will live.” Jesus sent the royal official back to his dying son with these words, these words that are some combination of miracle and promise.
“Your son will live.” Jesus spoke these words straight to the heart of the royal official’s vulnerability; though he had great power, he was powerless before his son’s sickness.
“Your son will live.” I hear these words with some disbelief, thinking of our Grandmother the Earth, callously and consistently condemned to death with policies and projects that prioritize profit over sustainable life.
“Your son will live.” I consider the courageous public struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, promising life. But I also consider the heartbreaking political reversal on the Dakota Access Pipeline, promising death. In between, I scour these words of Jesus for the same miracle and promise that the royal official heard, these words that sent him back home, back to work, with some hope that held off despair but compelled action.
We need one another to speak Jesus’ promise into our struggles for economic and environmental justice: Despite what you see and hear, “your son will live.” Now let’s get to work — or back to work.
Garrett Gundlach, SJ is a second-year Jesuit regent at Red Cloud High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. That basically means that he’s halfway through his formation as a Jesuit, learning from high schoolers before learning from books in theology studies. He loves bare feet, crayons, and being laughed at by his students.