This past weekend, I preached once again about the plight of our persecuted brothers and sisters, principally in Iraq and Syria, but also throughout the world. I was stunned after the Saturday evening Mass when one of the parishioners thanked me for my words because he did not know anything about the sufferings of Christians in the Middle East and in many parts of Africa, sufferings which have been happening for years.
I've known - or at least suspected - for a long time that most Americans are more concerned with who won Dancing with the Stars last night or the score of the recent sporting event than they are with matters of true import. Even so, his words caught me off guard and left me speechless. And very sad.
Too many people simply do not care about what is happening. They do not realize that we are all one in the Body of Christ. They do not realize the danger what is happening now poses to the future. They have learned nothing at all from the past (if they are even aware of history).
What is more, the dire situation of our brothers and sisters in Christ is not improving. The Catholic Herald summarized the current situation today with the words of His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins:
Overall, the refugees’ situation is getting worse as people are feeling crestfallen because they realise they will be unable to return to their homes in Iraq or Syria, he added.
“There is no hope, no life, no hope for an end,” the patriarch said.
While Christian schools, Jordanian parishioners and agencies such as Caritas Jordan have been doing their best to care for the refugees, they are running short of resources and are finding it difficult to maintain current levels of support, he explained.
“Now everyone is tired,” Patriarch Twal said. “The parish priests are tired, the donors are tired, the people are tired and losing their enthusiasm. At the beginning, they were happy to help. But now [they look at] the future [and see no end]. Caritas does not have the resources to give three meals a day to each person” [more].
How can it be that the universal Church is not providing even three meals a day to our brothers and sisters who are greatly persecuted because of their faith in Christ? There is no excuse for this lack of concern and sustenance!
Could it be that we simply do not how to get our support to them? Here are a few reliable organizations worthy of our support (the links will take you to their appropriate donation pages):
What are we waiting for? Why are we not helping? Why are we not talking? Our brothers and sisters cannot wait for us. Please, help today! Give what you can and remember them in your prayers!