Voices of Hope Walking Together
Mark Guevarra - This has been a year like no other. Emotions are raw from the grief and disappointment over disrupted plans. Our despair grows over loss of jobs and devastated economies. Our numbing intensifies and our mourning continues for the 1.3 million dead worldwide due to COVID19. Our anger and frustration are fueled by social unrest due to the senseless deaths of black folks and indigenous people at the hands of individuals and systems infected by ignorance, fear, and racism. Our powerlessness intensifies by the devastation of natural and human made calamities of hurricanes and wildfires. Our compassion is tested and anger rages by the deepened polarization and demonization among people fueled by social media, movements of hatred, and populist leaders. All the while, the weak and poor, disadvantaged minorities, desperate migrants, and the earth itself continue to bear the weight of the actions of those whose consciences have been dulled and governed by greed. We are truly living in challenging times and our hearts are weary.
And yet, if we are mindful, if we are attentive to each other and the earth, and if we see each other as siblings rather than faceless statistics, then we encounter amazing things. We hear a universe calling us into greater integration. We encounter the lived faith of people from every religion trusting in God in these uncertain times. We encounter the good will of people who selflessly give of themselves. All of this goodness, compassion, and hope shine through our dim times and like the sun, burns the fog of separation, fear, and despair that pervades us.
Advent which comes from the Latin word for “coming” is a time for us to deepen in mindfulness to the light around us which already pierces through the clouds of despair. It is this light that truly liberates us, truly sets us free. To help cultivate awareness of this light in this Advent season, members of Call to Action’s Re/Gen 2020 Cohort (of which I am a member of) have carefully curated reflections from over 20 scholars, educators, pastors, artists, dancers, activitsts, and visionaries. We have privileged the voices of women, queer folks, indigenous people and people of color. Some of the contributors have strong connections to the GTU. Their prophetic words, lives, and work embody hope, liberation, joy, and selfless love.
For over 40 years, Call to Action has worked to educate, inspire and activate Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles. They invite you to join them on this Advent journey encountering the lives and work of people of good will.