In July 2011, Franciscans joined together at the Franciscan Federation's annual conference and made a commitment to help end human trafficking, provide healing for the victims, and prosecution for the perpetrators. I wrote a blog entry about it the following February: Slavery Has Not Ended. It Just Has a Different Name.
I am proud to stay that this commitment still stands today! In fact, in our Community we were asked to pray a special evening prayer for this intention on the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita. As always, we are educated about human trafficking and are asked to pay attention to any warning signs of it in our daily lives.
Human trafficking is a major problem, and the more people who have taken the time to read about it, the more lives we can save. Many times people who trafficked are hidden in plain sight. We can help give them freedom!
Lent begins this coming Wednesday. As many of you know, we are called to pray, give alms, and fast. Many times, when we think of fasting, we think of restricting our food intake. Yet the Lord calls us to a deeper form of fasting, one that requires a greater commitment:
Let us pray for all those affected by human trafficking.Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking off every yoke? -Isaiah 58:6, NAB
Let us give alms to organizations working to end human trafficking, provide healing for victims, and punishment for the perpetrators.
Let us fast from something we'd prefer to do and instead take time to educate ourselves about human trafficking so that we can save lives.
|If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely listen to their cry. - Exodus 22:23, NAB|