One of the underlying values of the St. Joseph Worker year is intentionality. Deliberate, most-often coordinated planning makes community life run smoothly and helps us to fulfill personal goals. I’ve certainly grown while learning how to live more intentionally; I associate the word with simplicity, with listening to the Spirit.
But the border reminded me that not all intentions are good.
Because this scene in front of me (present tense memory) is not accidental. It’s not down to chance that these people seeking asylum get no representation or translation in the long-awaited sham hearings, it’s policy. The families here don’t just happen to be here: there are reasons they’ve left their homes, reasons of violence, poverty (that is, violence), instability. Those conditions in turn are the result of decades and centuries of exploitation, of hundreds and thousands (but not hundreds of thousands, surely?) of men choosing profit over people.
So those of us who want to pick people over profit really have to be intentional about it. We need to understand that we are going against the current of half a millennium, a current that has eroded institutions to its liking and benefit. We must consider that perhaps, in order to turn the tide, we may have to do a little more than call our Senators. Whatever our decision, we must do it together.