Borderland reflection: Mary Anne Shine

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 40

As I began my eye-opening journey with six other pilgrims, I wondered what life would look like at the United States, Mexican border. I knew about the influx of thousands of migrants and their struggles, sacrifices, and hardships to cross into the U.S. to find a better life or to be reunited with family. Never did I imagine that we would welcome an exhausted, hungry, sweaty young man who had been trekking in the arid desert for four days. He was a twenty-four-year-old migrant man, dressed in camouflage clothing, who had gotten separated from his group of twenty-six migrants. He now wanted to turn himself into the Border Patrol because he could no longer continue his journey. We gave him food, called the Border Patrol, and tried to assure him that we were there to help him. The Border Patrol did pick him up and probably deported him back to Mexico.

For me this experience changed my life as I teared up watching this young man communicate with the two nuns who were our guides. I will never forget his sad, scared, helpless face as we tried to comfort him. It was a transforming presence, a presence that will live with me forever.

I thank God for this gift.

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