As a country and world, this past week has been tumultuous, to say the least. As our country awaited a nail-biting finish to the most exceptional election in history, I could not help but think of the faces of the people who this election will mean life or death for. The migrants on the border, the people on coastlines, elderly folk terrified of COVID. I could not have imagined an election with higher stakes. Yet, when it is all said and done, we still have to coexist in such a way that is not simply in line with Donald Trump or Joe Biden, but is instead a community of people who are beloved by God. Today’s readings remind us of the importance of what St. Thomas Aquinas’ wrote is the greatest virtue of all: prudence. In an America that continues to be manipulated into thinking we are divided, Christians must always be equipped with a prophetic imagination of the Scriptures that allows us to look beyond the divisive rhetoric as we await the coming of the Kingdom of God.
We must build what Pope Francis refers to as a “culture of encounter.” In his latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti he quotes a samba saying, “Life, for all its confrontations, is the art of encounter.” This election was quite a confrontation, but that does not mean that we cannot build from it beauty to encourage encounter and conversion in one another. We cannot, of course, do that by yelling about how divided we are, but instead by loving and caring for one another. By building a culture of encounter, we assure that even through all the ills and sin in our world, we will be ready when the time comes to be saved together, since none of us can be saved alone.
Amirah Orozco is currently in the masters of theological studies program at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry with a focus on systematic theology, especially ecclesiology and Hispanic theology. She works in Hispanic ministry training programs at Formación Continua at the STM. She is originally from the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.