Pope Francis preaches on the border

February 18, 2016

Recounting God’s call to Jonah, the pontiff said the Lord asked the prophet to “go and help them to understand that by the way they treat each other, ordering and organizing themselves, they are only creating death and destruction, suffering and oppression.”

“Go and tell them that they have become used to this degrading way of life and have lost their sensitivity to pain,” Francis explained God’s command.

“Go and tell them that injustice has infected their way of seeing the world,” the pope continued. “God sent him to testify to what was happening, he sent him to wake up a people intoxicated with themselves.”

Francis reflected on the fact that the King of Nineveh heeded Jonah’s warning and adopted sackcloth and ashes as a sign of his penitence.

“God’s mercy has entered the heart, revealing and showing wherein our certainty and hope lie,” said the pontiff. “There is always the possibility of change; we still have time to transform what is destroying us as a people, what is demeaning our humanity.”

Mentioning migrants who wish to go to Mexico from Central America and from Mexico to the U.S., the pope described the journey: “Each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted; so many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of a trade in human beings.”

“This crisis, which can be measured in numbers and statistics, we want instead to measure with names, stories, families,” said Francis. “They are the brothers and sisters of those excluded as a result of poverty and violence, drug trafficking and criminal organizations.”

“Being faced with so many legal vacuums, they get caught up in a web that ensnares and always destroys the poorest,” he continued. Not only do they suffer poverty but they must also endure these forms of violence.”

“Injustice is radicalized in the young; they are ‘cannon fodder,’ persecuted and threatened when they try to flee the spiral of violence and the hell of drugs,” said the pope. “Then there are the many women unjustly robbed of their lives.”