“do not shed innocent blood in this place”

Thus says the LORD: Do what is right and just. Rescue the victim from the hand of his oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. If you carry out these commands, kings who succeed to the throne of David will continue to enter the gates of this palace, riding in chariots or mounted on horses, with their ministers, and their people.  But if you do not obey these commands, I swear by myself, says the LORD: this palace shall become rubble.  Jeremiah 22:3-5

I ask for prayers in light of recent events in Mexico near the border town of Reynosa in San Fernando. 72 migrants making their way to the United States were gunned down by Zetas, a Mexican gang.  The gang appeared to have demanded money from the group and also attempted to enlist them as members as the drug wars continue to escalate. When the migrants — all central and south americans — resisted, the gang opened fire.

Perhaps this is the time for the healthy debate on the legalization of marijuana that the Mexican bishop Jose Luiz Chavez Botello has called for:

For this reason, he called for qualified voices to be heard and to avoid having a caricature of a debate in which powerful individuals, groups or organizations seek their own interests, “without regard for the harm they cause others or society itself.”

Or perhaps it just means that the U.S. must take more seriously its own problem of demand.  Either way, the blood of these migrants calls out from the ground.  At least as their brothers and sisters in Christ we can offer prayers on their behalf.

7 Responses to “do not shed innocent blood in this place”

  1. Henry says:

    I will definitely remember the victims in my prayers today Nathan – thank you for bringing the murder of the migrants to our attention.

    Pax Christi,


  2. Katrina says:

    I’ll remember them in my prayers. BTW.. the links don’t work and I really want to read it.



  3. gregory says:

    By Gracious Powers

    By gracious pow’rs so wonderfully sheltered
    And confidently waiting come what may,
    We know that God is with us night and morning
    And never fails to greet us each new day.
    Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
    Still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
    O give our frightened souls the sure salvation
    For which, O Lord, you taught us to prepare.
    And when this cup you give is filled to brimming
    With bitter suffering, hard to understand,
    We take it thankfully and without trembling
    Out of so good, and so beloved a hand.
    Yet when again, in this same world you give us
    The joy we had, the brightness of your sun,
    We shall remember all the days we lived through
    And our whole life shall then be yours alone.

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  4. Sorry, thanks Katrina, I fixed the links.

  5. Rosemary says:

    If we are not a part of the solution, we are a part of the problem. What is the solution?
    An interesting commencement address I heard a few years ago by a former head of the NAACP, in which he told a parable about two men fishing in a river. They see a baby float by. One jumps in to grab it but another one floats by, so the other man jumps in to grab that one. More and more babies float down, however, and the two men have trouble pulling them out. One man starts to leave, causing the other one to say, “Where are you going? We have to save these babies from drowning!” The other man says, “I’m going upriver to stop whoever is throwing these babies in the river.”
    The problem: Unconscionable lack of access to education by the poor in Mexico, Central and South America. Good high schools and colleges are reserved for those who can pay.
    The solution: Call out the ministers of education personally. Get statistics on how few are educated, how many are relegated to a life of penury, how access to higher education is based on income only, how the power elite controls the great “unwashed”, keeps them in servitude, exports them when necessary, and uses the lack of education as a control tool.

    You are fools if you think this is about the legalization of pot! You look at the problem that the left-wing wants you to, and the right wing wants to keep you tied up in knots about pot! You are very superficial, indeed. You would rather talk about legalizing narcotics (insurance companies already carry enough risk with alcoholics, smokers, and the obese), than deal with the real, hard issue.

    Let’s see you contact the ministers of education through your Jesuits in Latin America and follow through to work with them to achieve a just system of education for ALL. You will receive a lot of resistance but I know Jesuits are a persistent order, so I will pray that you stir your hearts to do some very unglamorous grunt work. For now, you sound like sissies. Get to work. You have wonderful access in these countries through your education system. Let these countries be more accountable for their lack of a just education for all.

  6. Ronnie Ronalds says:

    Thank you to bringing this to my attention. I agree that the border and legalization of aliens has been a difficult predicament for the United States. I find it ironic that America makes a policy of standing up for the week and oppressed, yet does not give the much to the needed attention to their neihbors down south. I like your scripture passage i think that it fits this topic very well, and hopefuly should turn many ignorant catholics heads towards the help of the immigrants. I have seen a documentary and the journey of the average immigrant trying to cross the border and the dificulties that they must face. It is touching to see what they risk when they take the trip in hope for a better life, and for these immigrants to loose their lives to gangs makes me sorrowful and hopeful for change. America should start using virtues such as hospitality, generosity, and respect when dealing with immigration.

  7. William Atkinson says:

    Hubble telescope has given us the privelege to look back, way back into universe, doors are opening and questions of God, gods and creation are really becoming the day to day problematic topics. With Abrahamic religion only being 4000 years old in a world of humans going back billions and foundation of existence and life developing along non-religious themes, the before Adam quest is driving the minds and quizing of massive numbers of our youth and olders. Christ, Eucharist, is only here for 2000 yrs and mankind existing way way back. Beliefs and faiths are really becoming the quest of today and its so so difficult to engage in the phenonemon of such short aged religious topics. the future of theology (religion) and philosophy is going to be very very interesting as times, communication and knowledge speed up.

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