Good morning and happy Friday and blessings.
Today I woke up meditating on the sin of indifference. This in the context of the Gospel of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-38) is the story of a man who was robbed and beaten and left for dead. As he lies clinging to life, several people from prominent ethnic groups and communities who choose not to help him overlook him. Finally, a Samaritan who is not as prominent and has a different religious vision helps him.
Injustice is basically when the right things, which should happen, do not happen, and what is wrong prevails. Unfortunately, this is a part of most people's lives. But the problem is when we gets used to injustice, thus ceasing to fight against it and in favor of justice.
Within this context, I began to think about how this whole issue of the coronavirus pandemic has made us indifferent to other realities that are equal or greater threat to humanity. But unfortunately, we have become accustomed to living with these realities and they have normalized in our lives. When we normalize a common situation we can fall into injustices and dangers.
How many deaths in the United States are caused by poverty, lack of education, and other social factors? Until now, and continues to increase, the coronavirus has killed 24,052 people worldwide. This is very serious. But at the same time, I would like us to see the whole panorama of indifference.
In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. Poor nutrition and hunger are responsible for the deaths of 3.1 million children a year. A child starves to death every 10 seconds. Suicide is a major national public health problem in the United States. The country has one of the highest suicide rates among wealthy nations. In 2018, there were 48,344 registered suicides. Alcohol is the third preventable cause of death in the United States, with an estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) who die from alcohol-related causes each year.
About 9 million people die each year from hunger and hunger-related diseases. This is more than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. And we have that nicotine (cigarette) produces about 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke). It is not that we take too lightly the Coronavirus, it is that we identify our indifference and selective justice in calling bread, bread and wine, wine.
Most of these evils are not produced by God but rather are evils of our corporate capitalist system. Let's not be like Pilate washing our hands. This is my challenge for you today. We are going to save humanity by killing indifference.
Fr. Luis +