Today reading tells us that those who trust in God are blessed—that no matter what happens they will still “bear fruit.”
My mom raised me with the saying la fe mueve montañas—faith moves mountains. She always made sure that I didn’t lose my faith in a higher being who was working behind the scenes. As I grew up and began to be more active in my pursuit of humane immigration reform, my mom always reminded me to trust in my higher being and the labor of my work, especially when bad policy was passed or someone I was advocating for was deported.
I’ve always felt that no matter how bad things get, my mom’s faith doesn’t die but instead, it grows stronger and stronger—so strong that at points I’ve felt frustrated with her. How do you have faith if you’re in danger of deportation? If your deportation means death? How do you have hope when a system is actively working against you? How do you have faith after being separated from your 4-year-old son at the border, Mom?
“Keeping faith during challenging moments isn’t easy, but you have to be patient,” my mom told me. “But if you decide to quit, then they win. I know you don’t like to lose—so you can’t quit.”
We will always struggle to keep our faith during troubling times. If you’re an immigrant or work in immigration advocacy, it’s particularly challenging. As someone who is both, I’ve found myself numbed for moments—or even months. But we must be patient and know our higher being is working in the background.
José Arnulfo Cabrera is the director of education and advocacy for migration for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. He is a 2018 graduate of Xavier University, a DACA recipient, and an immigration activist. He previously worked with the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he provided training on lobbying, organizing, and immigration policy, as well as shared his own immigration story, and as a government relations associate with NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice in Washington, D.C.