Fr. Frank Majka, S.J., has been a priest for over 40 years. He has worked primarily in high school religious ed and high school campus ministry for 25 years. He has also worked in campus ministry at the college level for 16 years. His present ministry involves ongoing faith formation for adults in the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) area. He also has maintained a blog of faith reflections (frankmajka.com) for the past 10 years (frankmajka.com).
Jesus said we should “love one another as I have loved you.” Yet many times we human beings harm one another in ways that are violent and often lethal, especially in war. We may feel that our causes are just, but even in “just causes” people are killed, burned, maimed, disfigured or left to face lives filled with pain and suffering. Often those who are harmed are children. In one part of the world, over a three-month period this past year, 1,600 people were killed or wounded, 33% of them children. And though the warring sides are trying to negotiate their differences, the violence and suffering continue.
The Holy Father has designated April as a month for pray for doctors and their collaborators in war zones who risk their lives to save the lives of others. These individuals bring their skills to areas of war and violence with the aim of offering treatment to lessen peoples’ agony of body, mind, and spirit.
Working under conditions of great danger, they willingly and courageously put themselves at risk of harm. In so doing, they bear witness to their belief in the dignity and value of life. Through their commitment, whether motivated by the words of Jesus or their own innate sense of human decency, they offer hope that the love in God’s heart may eventually catch fire in the hearts of others. For that reason, the Holy Father asks us to pray for such brave people this month.