Daily Reflection
April 1st, 2005

Maria Teresa Gaston

Creighton Center for Service and Justice
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Acts 4:1-12
Psalm 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a
John 21:1-14

At this time of year weariness sets in for me in my work in social ministry on campus. What have we really accomplished in the face of all there is to do? How few have we reached when so many go untouched, uninvolved, seemingly unconverted and unmotivated? I’m tempted to feel this is all folly. What am I wasting my time and life for when the large political and economic wheels of the world turn relentlessly in directions that ignore the demands of the poor and of justice?

On top of this discouragement at work, when things get hard for my teens at home, I really pause and wallow in the hopelessness. These young victims of society’s emphasis on looks and material well-being find it so painful to be different, to be un-cool and out-of-it sometimes with their concerns that take them beyond themselves.

Then unexpectedly on March 8, we received the news (from friends on a group effort we helped start some ten years ago) that the boycott of Taco Bell is over, that 3.5 years of targeted organizing (after years of relationship-building, strategizing, building capacity among Mexican, Guatemalan Mayan and Haitian farmworkers in Southwest Florida), fasts, marches, ‘truth-tours,’ educating and engaging church people and students has brought a humane, enlightened response from a multinational fast-food giant. The success: more just wages by an increase of one penny per pound “pass-through” for tomatoes (meaning almost a doubling in per-bucket harvest pay) and a pledge to work with suppliers to ensure safe, sanitary working conditions for tomato harvesters on the east coast.

This willingness of Taco Bell Corp. and Yum! Brands to be part of the solution of farmworker injustice is a miraculous, victorious catch after a long night of no success. The disciples in the boat recognized the risen Jesus, who John says “revealed himself” to them. They did what he asked, and took nourishment at his beach-table Eucharist.

Jesus continues to reveal himself to us, to direct us, to accompany us and to offer us hope and food in times of discouragement. I rejoice today in the miracle of the un-broken net and the harvest of small and large successes of non-violent direct action, of faith-based social action linking believers and non-believers all over the world, of the globalization of solidarity. I breathe in the air of Easter hope and joy represented in this victory of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Hope helps me see more clearly. I remember the enthusiasm of students returning from the Fair Trade Convergence in Chicago put on by United Students for Fair Trade in February and see in them the new impetuous Peters and Johns proclaiming their resurrection faith and hope and vision boldly as they work to bring Fair Trade Coffee to campus and witness to their peers and to staff and administrators their concerns for justice and empowerment of workers around the world.

Now Jesus… about my thirteen year old….

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook