Are we listening?

BY CHRISTOPHER KERR | February 17, 2020
Sunday’s Readings

“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
And what has not entered the human heart,
What God has prepared for those who live,
This God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

“I am nineteen years old. Even though I was pregnant and already had one child, I could not stay and risk my life.”

“I had been raped and my family had been threatened and could not help me.” 

“So, I left Central America and began the journey north through Mexico. Many times during the journey my children and I were scared.” 

“I arrived at the U.S. border to ask for asylum and was told to wait.” 

“We had to leave, we had no choice.”


Laundry hangs to dry on a barbed wire fence late in the day at a tent camp just across the border for people, mostly Central Americans, seeking asylum in the U.S. [via Shutterstock]

During a recent visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, I heard countless recollections just like these from young Central American, Mexican, and even Brazilian women. The realities of gang violence and narco-trafficking compounded by ongoing economic instability have created an environment where every day is life or death for many of our neighbors in Central and South America. Making things even more precarious, over the past year the number of individuals, including women and children, admitted to the U.S. for asylum hearings has dissipated significantly as policies have been instituted for these families to remain in Mexico while awaiting their hearing date. And, for the many who are denied asylum, they are returned to the violent realities of their homelands.

It is easy to let our minds immediately go to the polarized political positions on this issue. But maybe, before we go there, we need to listen a little bit more. 

What emotions are we hearing in the stories of women like those I encountered?
If we were to place ourselves in their shoes, what might we hope for?
As people of God, what do we hope for them? For their children?

“What God has prepared for those who live,
This God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”

What is the Spirit telling us?

2 replies
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” The Dalai Lama

  2. Milda Avila
    Milda Avila says:

    I had enjoy the reflections during lent they have been very helpful at this difficult time. Please continue to share with us your wisdom and inspirations
    Thank you


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