Divers - 10 January 2018

en - ’Bridges not Walls’

Keep them out ! There is a booming market in walls, alarms systems motion sensors and drones and security industries ; the global security market has recently doubled ; in the US 52 high tech surveillance platforms have been built recently by the Israeli co Elbit systems in South Arizona enhancing the `fat and lovely wall’ of President Trump, signs of exclusion, discrimination, militarisation and fear, and often hatred, of the `other’ especially if they are poor, vulnerable and desperate. Who remembers the desert people, the Tohono O’odham tribe whose ancestral lands are divided by the US/Mexico border wall ? Or the young unarmed farmers who left their homeland because there was no rain, no crops, no food, `no hubo lluvia’ ! or the migrants dying of thirst in their attempts to cross the desert border ?
Pope Francis in on his 2016 visit to Mexico stood with together with migrants at the US border wall. `Society should build bridges not walls’ he said` we must not raise walls but build bridges, not respond to evil with evil, but overcome evil with good’.
Recently a delegation fighting the US/ Mexico border wall from both sides, journeyed to Palestine to share stories and resistance, and to build connections. (#World without Walls). There will be a return trip, Palestinians will go to the US/ Mexico border. One way to show resistance is to show humanity with real beauty and grace ; its beauty will expose the ugliness and evil of the wall, a way of not accepting and surrendering to oppression but rather resisting it and looking forward to living a better future. There is an icon written as graffiti into the Separation wall between Bethlehem and Jerusalem ; it brings the hope that the wall would one day come down, it is called `Our Lady who brings down walls’. It is at once a protest against injustice and a revealing of beauty and grace of a true humanity.
This prayer from the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem accompanies it (slightly amended)
Most Holy Mother of God We pray to you as mother of the Church, mother of all Christians and all who suffer, we beg you, through your ardent intercession to bring down this wall, the walls of our hearts and all walls that generate hatred, violence, fear and indifference between people and between nations. You who crushed the ancient serpent with your Fiat, gather and unite us under your virginal cloak, protect us from all evil, open for ever in our lives the gate of Hope. Bring to birth in us and in our world the civilization of love that sprang forth from the Cross and Resurrection of your Divine Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who lives and reigns forever. Amen.

Jess r.a.
January 2018