by Fr. Shay Cullen
It has all the elements of the Easter story, courage, self- sacrifice, betrayal, punishment, humiliation and a love for another for which there is no reward but only punishment. It is a story of betrayal of the most serious kind wherein parents sent their two children into harms way and traumatized them for the rest of their lives. They were delivered to captivity, torture, spiritual and emotional death. For some children, it ends in physical death, when they resist abuse they are murdered.
The story of Marcel and Angelica is about betrayal but also resistance and resurrection. Here is a story of a brave courageous 16 year old who took every risk to go against her abusive parents and endure their anger and punishment, rejection and humiliation to try to save her younger 14 year old sister Angelica from a similar fate as she herself endured sex slavery.
Marcel was sold to foreigners who are willing to pay anything to abuse children and her sister was now sold also. It was too much for Marcel, she summed up the courage and bravely sought to rescue her sister and endure all the anger and rejection heaped on her. But she succeeded and her sister was saved and brought into the protection of the children’s home and the foreign pedophile sex tourist arrested. But then the judge took the side of her abusive parents and then ordered the child to be returned to the parents and the abuser. The child witness was forced to withdraw her complaint of abuse, the charges were then dismissed and the pedophile escaped. It appears that justice was denied and evil thriumphed. But it’s not over yet.
And so it appears that evil overcomes goodness. Holy week, with Black Saturday and Holy Friday are always with us.
Human rights advocates, social workers working for justice, activists protesting against mining, child abuse and corruption are beaten, betrayed, arrested and killed. In Midsalip, Mindanao, the community holding a picket line to prevent mining machinery from ravaging their lands, have been beaten, brutalized and murdered. They, like Jesus, bravely spoke out and stood against the forces of evil and showed their love of the community and died for their neighbors and to protect the environment.
I wrote recently how innocent children in Zamboanga, were taken bound, gagged and tortured to death, the youngest 12 years old. Children are made in the image of God, Jesus taught us that great truth, and the most important of all in the Kingdom of God are the children. (Matt 18; 1-8) The abusers are best thrown in to the ocean with a stone around there neck, he said. He established the rights of the child. They were ignored for centuries and only in our generation are they officially recognized by the Convention of the Rights of the Child and have protection and help.
But they need much more as children are under assault and more are abducted and abused as ever before. Thousands are sold into labor camps, trafficked to brothels and abused by parents in their own families by the thousands.
We need every true Christian to experience a spiritual resurrection from apathy and indifference, fear and inaction. They are called from the grave to live a full life and to speak out for justice and human rights. They are filled with the power of the resurrection and enabled to challenge man-made-misery and the injustice that abuses and oppresses the poor and the children. They believe in the power of love, and they inspire more people to emerge from the grave of silence and ignorance into the light to proclaim freedom for the innocent.
They are the resurrected, they are the people emerging from the death like state caused by apathy and indifference. They roll aside the great stones that block the path to life and equality and they give voice to the truth. Can we not strive to be a person like this? No greater love can anyone have than to give his life for his friend, Jesus said. All our neighbors are friends. We can live for others and give our lives for those in greatest need. There is no better way to live a full life.
- Good, Holy or Great Friday (andrewconard.com)
- My Thursday Thoughts – Desperation of The Abused (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Living in Light of the Resurrection (marcyda.wordpress.com)
- Holy Week: Good Friday (allsufficientgrace.wordpress.com)
- Child Abuse (socyberty.com)
- Pope talks of suffering during Good Friday TV show – Forbes (news.google.com)
- Holy Week (Friday): Death of Jesus (josiahconcept.org)
- Come to the Resurrection (poetdoug.wordpress.com)
- What is Abuse (socialservicesgoingmad.wordpress.com)