Easter Sunday | Oh Death, Where is Your Victory?
BY BISHOP MARK SEITZ | April 21, 2019
Reflexión en Español
BROKEN, SMASHED, SHATTERED! All our presuppositions, all our rash judgments, all our hopeless meanderings, all our sins scattered across the ground! They are strewn like so much exploded shrapnel littering the ground outside an empty tomb.
Just when we thought that life had died, that the brokenness of the world had consumed its Maker. Just when it seemed that the hardness of human hearts had proved greater than mercy and compassion and forgiveness. In the midst of that dark night of pain, Love arose and conquered! Broken humanity is healed from within!
Here on the border between Texas and Mexico in a place named “El Paso” we daily witness at a very local level one example of what is ultimately a cosmic struggle between love and hate, solidarity and division, accompaniment and isolation, life and death.
Destitute families flee to our border, escaping the chaos of an evil nexus between narco-trafficking gangs and corrupt government officials and then navigating a minefield of threats to their lives as they pass through Mexico. Then they face new abuses at the hands of those responsible for U.S. border security. Those treated as the refuse of the world might well be expected to be broken and hopeless by the time they reach our shelters.
That is not the case! They are wary as they descend from the Homeland Security buses, but they are far from hopeless. We volunteers gather to assist them, but their undying Faith raises us up. They ask us to pray and then they teach us how to pray with utter confidence. In that trust they continue the long journey.
Yes, it may have appeared that human depravity—our own and that of others—had broken us. But in the end, in union with our poor migrant brothers and sisters, we give witness: Christ is RISEN, sin and death destroyed! Alleluia!
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Bishop Mark J. Seitz has been bishop of the Diocese of El Paso since 2013. In 2017 he released “Sorrow and Mourning Flee Away: Pastoral Letter on Migration to the People of God in the Diocese of El Paso.”
Monseñor Mark J. Seitz es Obispo desde el 2013 de la Diócesis de El Paso. En el año 2017 publicó su Carta Pastoral titulada “La Pena y la Aflicción Terminarán: Carta Pastoral sobre Migración para el Pueblo de Dios en la Diócesis de El Paso.”
Christ is Risen – Alleluia.
Well said! Christ, our Paschal Victim, is the hope of all modern-day victims. –JW
Thank you, Bishop Mark, we appreciate your leadership and sincere support as we continue to embrace God’s holy work at the border.
Your work at the southwestern border bringing the love of Christian people to the refugees seeking refuge in the USA brings me hope for the USA despite the awful, unChristian leadership coming from the White House. America was always a beacon of hope and it can be again if its Christian people pray and work in the community following the lead of our risen Saviour.
Thank you, Bishop Mark. I will be sharing your remarks with others not on the Solidarity list. Thank you for building bridges. And for letting us who live far from the border know the strength of the Church’s presence there.