Religious missionaries working in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao continue to live in "dangerous and dark times," in which justice is hard to come by, according to a group of Catholic nuns.
Even one who is poor, like the widow in today’s Gospel, is called to give everything. There is no one so poor that they don’t have something to offer, and no one so rich that they don’t need to receive from others. God has lavished gifts on his children, following the example of the Father who is in heaven, they do not retain them for themselves but put them at the disposal of others.
Looking back at the past, we acknowledge that there is nearly no region or nation which, in its history, has not seen the immigration of people moving though in caravans or even entire ethnic populations arriving with the intention to settle in lands distant from their homeland, considering them oases of refuge.
A young girl, almost as soon as she is old enough to walk, goes out to work in the fields with her mother and sibling. It is unrelentingly hot and the work is grindingly monotonous. In tilling and hoeing a small patch of unforgiving land, the family expend more calories than they will ever gain back from any produce they manage to grow.
Shusaku Endo, the Japanese author of the classic novel, Silence (upon which Martin Scorsese based his movie) was a Catholic who didn’t always find his native land, Japan, sympathetic to his faith. He was misunderstood but kept his balance and good heart by placing a high value on levity.