I find it rather ironic that today the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, patron of peace and justice, is also the 18th anniversary of the riots in Los Angeles. These riots took place after the acquittal of the four white policemen for using excessive force in the arrest of Rodney King. All of this following closely on the heals of the new law in Arizona! As Archbishop Dolan recently said "And, here we go again! Arizona is so scared, apparently, and so convinced that the #1 threat to society today is the immigrant that it has passed a mean-spirited bill of doubtful constitutionality that has as its intention the expulsion of the immigrant.
What history teaches us, of course, is that not only are such narrow-minded moves unfair and usually unconstitutional, but they are counterproductive and harmful.
Because the anti-immigrant strain in our American heritage, however strong, is not dominant. Thank God, there’s another sentiment in our national soul, and that’s one of welcome and embrace to the immigrant."
Perhaps we are called to imitate this wonderful saint, to help heal the wounds of division and pain. Catherine is a wonderful example of a peacemaker. A task that is not easy and quite often misunderstood, but one which the gospel calls us to daily.