Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities. Pope Francis

Meditation: Some human rights violations are so horrific and “in your face” that we have a hard time breathing when we learn about them. We feel pain in our soul seeing those images. We also feel connected with people all around the world who are praying for comfort and healing for the victims of terror and for it to stop. Other injustices and oppressions are more inconspicuous, hardly noticeable and yet painfully real. We do not necessarily see photos of the hundreds and thousands of victims of the new budget cuts, of unfair immigration law enforcement and of complete eliminations or reductions of social programs all around our country and the exploitation of front line workers during Covid who often have to work without proper protection arrangements made for them. However, if we pay careful attention, we will feel the pain in our soul. We will also experience a shortness of breath. What can we do? We can stay awake and stay connected. We can keep breathing and carry the pain. We can also wake up the masses in protest, and we can pray so terrorists and our current government will stop their oppressive ways.

Prayer: God of mercy, we pray for all terror victims around the worlds and their families. Be comfort and refuge! We also pray for the many undocumented immigrants who currently find themselves in prison cells, locked up randomly by ICE. We pray for persons with pre-existing health conditions who will lose or not be able to afford their health insurance any longer. We pray for all families whose food stamps were eliminated before the pandemic started. We pray for children who go hungry to bed. We pray for those young adults who no longer can afford college or whose student loans have become huge burdens. God, have mercy. We pray that you will put an end to all acts of oppression and to all violations of basic human rights and of basic human needs as committed both by terrorists and by our current government. Amen

Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live. Ezekiel 18: 31-32

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