By Sr. Roselei Bertoldo, IHM
Beloved: Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ …. For it says in Scripture: You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. –1 Peter 2:4-5, 9
We live in a very fruitful time in the Church, especially in the Pan-Amazon region.
It’s a time of synodality, when we can walk together, and when we walk together, we perceive the other, we feel their joys, their pains, we feel committed to those who walk with us. In this walk together, we perceive the pain of children, young people and women, who are victims of the crime of human trafficking, are crucified by the greed of a market system that excludes, and are killed by projects of death in mining, hydroelectric plants, logging, and agribusiness projects that exploit and turn people into merchandise to buy, sell and dispose of.
We cannot get used to this system that steals and kills the dignity of life. In this fertile time of Easter, we realize that these signs and systems of death do not have the last word. In every process leading up to and during the Synod, it was possible to perceive the new paths, full of life, where people, groups, and communities meet to discover alternatives to face everything that harms life and destroys our Common Home.
There are many signs of resurrection on this path. When a person who is a victim of the crime of human trafficking finds someone who welcomes them, who helps them to recover their dignity while being the protagonist of their history, that is resurrection, it is Easter.
Signs of resurrection appear in the work that many religious congregations and groups have been carrying out in order to raise awareness, to share information about human trafficking, to train multipliers for prevention education, to intensify the fight for public policies to face this reality and to assist victims of crime.
The resurrection is seen in the work done collectively, in strengthening the actions of each institution that contribute to the expansion of the protection network. It is seen in care for our Common Home, in the preservation of biodiversity, of cultures, of peoples, preserving the ethical values of each group.
More than ever, we need to revive people’s dreams, dreams of better times, of an egalitarian, more humane society and to contribute to making these dreams a reality.
In this fruitful time of synodality we have the capacity to generate life from communion between different cultures, raising a great network of solidarity in the care of life where it is most threatened and ensuring that everyone can live with freedom and dignity, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus in every being. ▪
About the Author
Sister Roselei Bertoldo, IHM, an auditor at the Synod, is part of the Cry for Life Network which assists victims of human trafficking in the Brazilian Amazon. In January 2020, she received an award from the Catholic Church Reform International for her work with the Cry for Life Network.