Since last week at this time there has been a dismaying increase in the ranks of widows, orphans, undocumented immigrants, grieving parents, and frightened people everywhere – not just because of the Ebola virus scourging west Africa, but because of shootings and violence right here in our cities and towns. Today’s readings are a sobering reminder that God looks on these who suffer from illness and violence and oppressive governments with a merciful eye…and expects a lot of us who claim to be Christian when doing something is paramount. Hand-wringing is not enough. Fences along porous borders are not the solution, either. They are part of the problem, whether fences of steel and wire or fences of policy.