Actress Susan Sarandon at a recent demonstration against the genocide suffered by the Palestinian people, expressed a beautiful and challenging message for all of us who believe in life, in the right of all peoples to live in peace, in self-determination.

“Our enemy is hatred, our enemy is racism, our enemy is colonization and greed….

Jesus had experience of living under the domination of the Roman Empire, of suffering oppression and repression by the powerful. He was pained by the suffering of the little ones, of those whose lives were constantly threatened. “Those who consider themselves the rulers of nations rule them as if they were their masters. But it will not be so among you. (Mk 10:42-43) Jesus proposes to the disciples an alternative life not based on violence, but on building relationships based on love, on the acceptance of differences, on shared goods.

As disciples of Jesus, with a heart without borders, we are constantly challenged to widen our tent and empathize with brothers and sisters from diverse cultures, to live with new logics that take us out of our structures and schemes, not pretending to impose our culture. Our common enemy is everything that reduces, paralyzes, limits, oppresses, offends our brothers and sisters.

What is our enemy? How do we confront it?

Our enemy is silence. The silence of those who look the other way when they see crushed children, crying babies, parents digging through the rubble to try to find their families.

Jesus committed himself to the cause of the Kingdom giving everything, risking everything, his practice was a cry, a clamor against those who kept the people dominated, paralyzed in the name of God. He did not remain silent in the face of injustice, he made the beatitudes flesh. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for goodness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10). Today too, he weeps with the mothers who cry out, with the orphans and the maimed, he embraces so many wounded human beings.

Our great enemy is also silence, compromising our word brings us misunderstandings, conflicts and we do not take risks, we are accomplices as humanity to the genocide of the Palestinian people, to the pain of the Ukrainian people, to the violence in so many African countries, to the way of the cross of many migrants in our countries, to the devastation of our Common Home, and in our daily lives we keep silent in front of relationships that do not humanize life, in front of attitudes that are not consistent with our community commitment and for the Kingdom. In everything Jesus challenges us: “If we keep silent, the stones will cry out” (Lk. 19:40).

Sr. Jacqueline Sothers, MDR

Kirigueti Community, Peru.

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