As we all know, ISIS terrorists attacked again, this time in Barcelona, only a few days ago, leaving behind 15 dead and dozens injured in a new cowardly and vile massacre. The people’s response was immediate, and a great wave of solidarity and affection flooded the squares of Barcelona, Spain and the great majority of the countries of the world.
In the place where the terrorist van stopped on Las Ramblas, an improvised altar was biult by thousands of anonymous citizens who wanted to pay homage to the victims of the brutal attack, people of every kind and condition, of any religion or without it, of any political ideology.
A message drew my attention from the photographs taken from this altar:
An anonymous person, a vagabond, deprived and marginalized in the society, joined the common lament and cries for all the deaths of the innocent ones, among them a boy of 3. An act of humanity that honors the one who demonstrates it.
But also tears us apart to note that, in his message, there is a lesson of humanity that society has not yet learned: the personal situation of this human being, like that of so many others who live in our streets, is of the purest solitude and indifference. “I have nothing or nobody” is the mute cry of thousands of forgotten in our society, who also come to suffer the cries of all, and who consider their life less worthy than the innocent who died in barbarism. It is always heartbreaking to hear a person say that “my life is worthless.” In the mouth of a needy is a clamor that outrages and questions us, as human beings and as members of a society that forgets the dispossessed.
Every person is worthy. Christians believe that every human being has been created in the image of God, that each and every one of us are children of the same Father, and therefore brothers. We can not allow people, blinded by sectarian doctrines, to be able to forget any remnant of humanity and so repellently murder other human beings; nor can we forget the lament of those who consider that if life has no value. All life is valuable.
We Vincentians, who in this year and in the following reflect on welcoming the needy, especially the homeless, have an important mission to do in this sense: of course, to ensure improvement of material conditions for these people, but also to care and heal their wounded spirits. May the merciful God help us all to build our own humanity by helping others to have it, too.