In our society in which we are strongly educated in modern individualism, what we may need is prophets which can make us discover the collective responsibility.
As examples, every year 15-50 million people die of hunger around the world. I guess that none of us want them to die and wish that we could avoid this, but we don’t know how.
However, we do not feel innocent. We are conscious that the food on our tables is put there through the efforts of 83 per cent of humanity for the benefit of only 25 per cent. However, in the here and now, close to us today we have human persons who have arrived on our shores after surviving unthinkable experiences and all sorts of life-threatening risks. They have been forced to abandon their homes. They left behind their loved ones with the hopes that, if they survive and find a safe place, they may have the opportunity to rescue them and reunite with their families and have the privilege to live in freedom – something that most of us claim as a right.
We cannot pretend we do not understand the realities of these human persons, just as we cannot walk away from our own challenge to our own beliefs. Our conscience and sense of justice, if we demand the right to live in peace with freedom to have a job to move freely without fear and all of this is the right to which we are entitled.
Together with our families, friends and fellow citizens where do we stand in our sense of community responsibilities and the notion that God has created every human person equal? We are the ones who create the differences by the way we act.
Either we share our collective common goods or use them exclusively. Can we think of how we would feel if we were forced out of Australia to an unknown land without even knowing where our families are, with no friends, no home, no family. How would we like to be treated by the country where we arrived? Can we do something to express our concerns for these human persons or do we opt to ignore them because it is not our problem (meaning that it does not effect me personally)?
Can we live in peace with a clear conscience with ourselves acting this way at the same time that we are celebrating life in the resurrected Christ.
JOSE ZEPEDA Co-ordinator Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care Paddington, Qld