Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I see photos and hear of your tears, legitimate deep fear, uncertainty

Father Greg Boyle, S. J.
By Father Greg Boyle, S.J.
founder and executive director,
Homeboy Industries

The poet, Warsan Shire writes:

“I come from two countries
One is thirsty
The other is on fire
Both need water.”

I've gotten texts: “What’s going to happen to America?” “Will he close Homeboy forever?” and a most often sent text: “I mean ... WTF?”

Homeboy Industries seeks to be what the world is ultimately invited to become: a community of kinship, exquisite mutuality, and tenderness. We stand against forgetting that we belong to each other.

Demonizing is always untruth. Always. No exceptions. That refusal includes the current president-elect and those who voted him into office.

Nonetheless, 100 million Americans and billions outside this country share the very fears expressed yesterday so vividly at the Homeboy headquarters.

The Gospel says: “The Kingdom of God is among you.”

Indeed, it is. We will continue to take seriously what Jesus took seriously: Inclusion. Non-violence. Unconditional and compassionate, loving-kindness. And acceptance.

At Homeboy, we believe, that only the soul that ventilates the world with tenderness has any chance of changing it.

So yes, we hold our heads high and maintain our spirit and we speak the Homeboy truth to power. We belong to each other. We still imagine that circle of compassion and still see no one standing outside that circle ... not gang members, not Muslims, not immigrants, not African-Americans, and especially not folks who voted for this president-elect.

We all belong and we all “need water.” Our resolve is even more tenacious to ventilate the world with tenderness.

Let’s get to it.

Father Greg Boyle, S.J., is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.

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