Borderland reflection: Tom Dauer

After two and a half years of planning, our small delegation of seven finally made it to the US/Mexico border region. Our goal was to see the migrant conditions at our southern border. I came home changed in my understanding and appreciation for all the amazing work done by so many people and organizations.

One day we gathered on the edge of the Sonoran desert with the Green Valley Samaritans who offer humanitarian assistance to migrants in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. This desert is hot, rugged, and forbidding. Water is critical to any chance of survival. We placed 6 or 7 gallons of water at a trail crossing, hoping that the next person to pass will find the water.

Last Sunday, listening to the story of Jesus encountering the Samaritan woman at the well, the closing song “Come to The Water” (John Foley, SJ), I was right back in the desert. Migrants are real, desperate people, fleeing conditions in their homeland, seeking work and a safe life. I reflected on the thirst these migrant people have as they try to survive in their searching and in their journey. Without money, why should they have to pay such a high price?

O let all who thirst,
let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing,
let them come to the Lord:
without money, without price.
Why should you pay the price,
except for the Lord?
(© John Foley SJ 1978)

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