“Peace be with you.” These were the first words Jesus said to the disciples after His Resurrection. They were hiding, afraid and uncertain of the future. His presence brought them comfort and relief from their fears of persecution and death. The peace Jesus offered His disciples came with a challenge: “As my Father had sent me, so I send you.” Jesus offers us that same peace and challenge today.
Today, the world is awash in fear and uncertainty. The threat of COVID-19 is uppermost in everyone’s mind. We are radically changing our lifestyles to protect ourselves and those we love from this disease. Yet, even in this crisis, we are also seeing people’s capacity to bring peace.
We see people, confined in their homes, sing from their balconies to show solidarity and as a sign of life and hope. Good Samaritans bring basic necessities to the elderly and those most in need. Healthcare workers put their own lives at risk as they care for those afflicted by the virus.
More than ever we realize how we are all interconnected. Our solidarity extends across nations. The impact of COVID-19 will be unimaginable in parts of the Global South. War, poverty and violence continue to displace millions of people who live in crowded refugee camps with limited services. Many poor countries do not have the infrastructure to respond to the needs of those affected by the virus.
This year, our Easter Appeal, which was prepared even before COVID-19 became endemic in the Global North, features two projects that take up Jesus’s challenge: building peace with people displaced by conflict in Syria; and defending the human rights of Indigenous communities in Mexico. At this time, our support for these communities and many other already marginalized people is even more important.
This Lent, may we all find the peace that Jesus offers us. May we find the compassion in our hearts to rise to the challenge of bringing justice and peace to others.
Thank you for your generosity. Have a blessed Easter!
SUPPORT FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES
Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa (JRS MENA)
CJI supports the work of JRS MENA among forcibly displaced people in the Middle East. Since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, JRS has provided emergency and humanitarian assistance to some of the most vulnerable civilians. They are also supporting the social and psychological needs of children and their families. Educational programs, including vocational training and livelihood skills, are a major cornerstone of their work.
HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTERS
Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas
The Jesuits in Chiapas, Mexico, work with Indigenous people in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Their work focuses on training human rights promoters on conflict resolution, land protection, self-governance, and building leadership capacity. CJI supports this initiative which also aims to build relationships among organizations, communities, institutions and social movements that defend Indigenous land.
Donate to other projects or for the greatest need:
Please walk with CJI in peace, justice and solidarity with a generous gift. Your support will affect the lives of forcibly displaced people and human rights promoters in the Global South.
Build a lasting legacy of love and service!
Include us in your planned giving. Please contact our Donor Relations Coordinator by calling us today at 1.800.448.2148. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information online, please click here.