Did you know that the Vatican has an outstanding website focused on migrants and refugees? You can find it here: https://migrants-refugees.va/. Among the many images and words I spent time with there this past week, it is the faces that stick with me. The smiles, the tears, the fear . . . a wealth of human emotion. This week, I invite you to take a moment (either on your own or with someone close to you) and sit down around a table with a laptop or tablet and light a candle. Go to that website and pray with it. Not accustomed to praying with a website? Hopefully this one will get you started. For every face you see there, see it as your own child and ask God to help you find ways to protect and care for that child. For each quote from Pope Francis that you see there, ask God to open your heart so that you might find ways to respond in love to the wisdom he offers us.
During a recent news interview, a leader in the Minnesota Somali community was asked what his greatest fear was about the current narrative in our society regarding immigration. His response was, “That the fear and distrust and prejudice directed at me and my community will become normalized. What will become of me then?” That question ought to haunt us as Christians who take seriously the reality of the Body of Christ.
Pope Francis puts it this way:
Dear brothers and sisters, migrants and refugees!
At the heart of the Gospel of mercy,
encounter and acceptance by others is intertwined
with the encounter and acceptance of God himself.
Welcoming others means welcoming God in person!
Photo Credit: ICMC