Day 10: Our Ways are Unfair

Our Ways are Unfair

Today’s Readings

“Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?” asks the Lord to the people of Israel through the prophet Ezekiel.

I can tell you with confidence: it’s not the divine law of God that unfairly governs the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s human laws, and those laws are marked by injustice and create a situation of chaos for the poor and vulnerable.

Take for example Milene, a 23-year-old migrant from Honduras, who has been traveling with her husband since October, after her brother-in-law was murdered by the local cartel. She left her home behind in haste and already a few months into her pregnancy. Now she sits waiting in northern Mexico, logging into an app every day that the U.S. government is using for scheduling appointments to seek entry into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons. The appointments fill up in seconds, like tickets to a Taylor Swift concert. For three weeks running, Milene has been unable to schedule an appointment. Now her due date is just a week away. She shakes with fear when talking about the possibility of giving birth in a migrant shelter without access to proper health care. It could be a situation of life or death for her and her child. Can you imagine being in her shoes?

Our Ways are Unfair

Frs. Brian Strassburger and Louie Hotop, S.J., offer blessings to migrants at Casa del Migrante in Reynosa, Mexico.

“Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?” asks the Lord.

Where can we find God in the chaos of Milene’s situation? It actually shines quite brightly if you know where to look. She sits front and center during our celebration of Mass at the migrant shelter. She raises her hands in praise of God and bows her head in prayer. Her faith is a source of strength and hope, and she turns to God daily.

Let us turn to God, too. The divine laws of God remind us that we are all united in Christ. Our human laws divide and separate us. Inspired by brave women like Milene, let us work together to build bridges and not walls, and to help the grace of God break through the chaos of our world.

For Reflection:

  • How are you called to advocate for policies and laws that are just and humane—that address injustices that create “chaos for the poor and vulnerable?”
5 replies
  1. sonja
    sonja says:

    I was lucky to be raised in a family that worked for justice and helped those less fortunate than us. So in turn I do what I can. It may not seem much compared to Milene.
    My father taught me don’t waste time dealing with monkeys, always go to the top and this is what I continue to do, whether it be to get counselling for teens, or the right to work for senior migrants who are not entitled to the pension.

  2. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I couldn’t agree more w Fr. Brian that US laws re immigration, esp. at the Mexico/US border are broken and unfair. And I agree that we must step up as humans, Christians and citizens to work at changing those laws. Where I think his reflection falters is in seeming to place all the responsibility for Milene’s problems on the US. What of Honduras? Of Mexico? of cartels that are ruining lives? Of migrants who decide to come north knowing that they will have a problem entering–yet they come and then complain because they can’t get in? Why not apply to settle in Mexico or another country?Every human being has free will and has to make choices that have consequences. It is well known that the US will not take every person who applies and that they will “live” in Mexico for months or years. It was Milene’s choice to face this consequence. Perhaps Fr. Brian needs to go to Honduras to work eliminating the cartels and getting the Honduran government to make its laws fair, to protect its citizens, etc. We will not fix anything by taking every migrant who wishes entry. Our border is not the root cause of their problem and justice gets to the root cause or else it is simply charity. Charity doesn’t bring change. What Fr. Brian is doing is noble and charitable but it is not creating a just world. My heart goes out to Milene, and if she needs a sponsor I would do it–but the reflection today neither challenges nor inspires me.

    • Alan R
      Alan R says:

      Yes,countries other than the US bear some of the responsibility however the US holds all the ” true power” in this situation especially given the US history. And we pray

    • Peggy Ehling
      Peggy Ehling says:

      Lynn –

      I am sure that if Fr. Brian were aiming his Lenten reflection at the lawmakers, cartels, or citizens of Honduras he would have had a different message–one calling out their responsibility for injustice. But for those of us who live in the US, our responsibility is for the injustice we in the US are committing with our laws and policies. Pointing out the specks or lumps or logs in other’s eyes does nothing to remove the logs or lumps or specks in our own. St. Paul notwithstanding, no one can be all things to all people. One short reflection cannot possibly address every cause of the misery at our border. Surely you can understand why this particular message was directed our way–we are the only ones who can do anything about our part in this injustice. And we need to do it. Regardless of what anyone else does.


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