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In today’s Gospel, we celebrate the end of the Easter season. On this Pentecost Sunday, we are directed to revisit John’s account of when Jesus revealed himself to his disciples and shared with them the gift of peace.

Bestowed to the disciples through the Holy Spirit, the gift of peace is given with great responsibility. In order to embrace the gift of peace, one must also embrace the responsibility of service to others.

Recently, we reflected on our role as witness to injustices and our responsibility to act against them. But it is important to remember that acting on behalf of another is never as powerful as acting alongside them.

In a recent podcast inviting experts to weigh in on vaccine hesitancy and access to health, CMMB Peru Country Director Ariel Frisancho highlighted the importance of engaging, listening, and collaborating with the community; especially following the immense devastation experienced in Peru due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peru makes up only 5.5% of the global population, but experienced 21% of deaths globally due to COVID-19. In order to begin talking about approaches to vaccine hesitancy in Peru’s impoverished communities, Dr. Frisancho explains we must first rebuild and expand access to health—and that must start with the community.

In many ways, Dr. Frisancho is a keeper and an advocate of peace. He and his team engage families in their communities, listen to their needs, and learn how they can effectively bring change together.

“If we don’t get our families or our community families inside the equation, if we don’t get them inside the dialogue, we are going to have the risk of failing always,” said Dr. Frisancho.

“My final message to the world leaders would be: Remember, someone is knocking at the door. Just let them in.”

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Frisancho’s approach to health access, you can do so by listening to the full podcast—click HERE to listen.

We will conclude this week’s reflection by encouraging you all to listen for the knock. We will never learn unless we listen to the voices around us.

Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.