By Wil Colon
One of our walkers challenged us today to embrace and pay attention to a phrase that was with him all day yesterday “behold,” and its accompanying past tense version, if you permit, “be-held.” As Christian we have heard “Behold the Lamb of God,” “Behold He who suffered for our sins,” and for all who remember their days in Latin class, “Ecce homo – Behold the Man.” To “behold” implies having a keen awareness of something within your sight, while to “be – held” moves us from a visual intensity to a physical one. When you hold someone you intimately share in their joy, suffering, trust, and love.
So what did I gain from this challenge that struck me as related to the Pilgrimage of Hope? During lunch I felt myself going into my people-watcher mode. I realized that all of us on this tour were enjoying a meal, prepared by hands who do this regularly. I thought “behold the those who have and can waste if they choose.” Us or US! Then I thought of the immigrants in the caravan, past, present, future; those who we can’t see, for whom we pray and walk, those who we don´t “behold.” Are they “being-held?” By whom? Are they being held by coyotes, human traffickers, in prisons and prison-like detention centers? Or are they being-held in our hearts, prayers, and hopes? Is that enough? I say NO! We must now bring them forward through ourselves in action; saying “BEHOLD these are the people of God; incarnate in human form.” “BEHOLD these are the lambs of God who are created in His image. ¨ Are you ready to be the faces of those whose faces we do not see? Can we say BEHOLD we are here?