We are always in danger of normalizing injustice, or believing it to be inevitable.
We hear of Jesus’ crucifixion so often that we are tempted to think there was unshakable unanimity amongst the leaders of Jesus’ day that he was a threat to the power structure and must be arrested. Yet today’s readings remind us that there were dissenting voices.
Here at the border, every day we witness the abuses in the immigration detention and deportation process. In US detention centers, immigrants are subjected to degrading treatment with little oversight. Earlier this year, an individual who had been through our comedor sought asylum in the US and was put in solitary confinement in Eloy Detention Center without access to needed medical care. Instead of accepting this treatment as normal, we spoke out against the injustice and, at our encouragement, an official responsible for oversight decided to respond. Although she was initially skeptical of his account, like Nicodemus, she decided to hear and find out. Thanks to a dissenting voice, he received the treatment he needed and he no longer had to live every day of his time in detention in fear.
We must be the dissenting voices that shed light on the abnormality of injustice, prophesy to the fact that a better world is possible, and encourage our government officials and representatives to do the same.
Joanna Williams is the Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative, a Jesuit mission that responds to the needs of migrants at the US/Mexico border. She earned her BSFS in International Culture and Politics from Georgetown University.