For those who still wonder about where to find the words of God, I would kindly suggest at least three places: The Scriptures, of course, but also Nature and the reality of our fellow humans around the world. We are challenged today to continue to pay attention to God’s call, who reaches out to us from the lamentations of Mother Nature.
God is speaking to us in the sufferings of our planet as it continues to agonize from abusive and massive exploitations of natural resources resulting in serious environmental consequences.*
To listen to God is to pay close attention to the cries of indigenous people from around the world as they lose their battle for life against corporations; the cries of the migrants who flee from poverty, corrupt and criminal governments like in Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador; that of the Syrian, Yemenites and Congolese people living in war situations for years and that of close to 800,000 of Haitian people held in slave-like conditions in the Dominican Republic.
To listen to God today is to hear the experience of systemic racism that our Afro-American sisters and brothers are still experiencing in the US, as they continue to struggle for life, justice, and opportunities.As we to listen to God by opening ourselves to today’s reality in light of the Gospel, we also hear the call to commit ourselves to the good, to turn our world into a much better place.
We are called, where we are, here and now, to express our solidarity with the planet, with our fellow immigrants and with our sisters and brothers of the African community.
Lent this year ought to be a less a place of self-pity than it is about a real opportunity to engage the world that we live in; less an occasion to beat ourselves up than it is about eliciting the joy in people’s life by making a difference.
Fr. Jean Denis Saint-Félix, SJ is a Catholic priest of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). He is originally from Haiti. He belongs to the French-Canadian Province. As a scholastic, he studied philosophy at the UCA, El Salvador (1996-2001) and traveled widely all over Central America. After completing his doctoral studies in Paris, he taught political philosophy, anthropology and theology for several years at Notre-Dame University, Port-au-Prince, Haiti where he also worked as Vice-Dean. He currently works for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States as the Secretary for the office of Justice and Ecology.