The World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Sunday, September 29, 2019) is a special opportunity to focus our attention on the urgent needs of fellow human beings.
The need to offer hospitality is of particular concern for those of us fortunate enough to remain in the communities we call home. We must begin with the conversion of our own hearts. Do we believe in the dignity of all people, regardless of where they come from? Do we believe that it is our duty, as a matter of faith, to care for the needy, to feed the hungry, and to welcome the stranger? Then we must act, sharing through works of love the graces we have received.
God is inviting us to go deeper. Below are some resources to help us pray, reflect, and ultimately take action in response to the needs of migrants and refugees.
Everything we do on our Ignatian journey ought to begin in prayer. So let us pray:
Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,
We pray that you protect migrants on their journey, and that give them your divine protection and shield them from evil. We ask that you open our hearts so that we may provide hospitality for those who come in search of refuge, so that we might welcome them as one of our own.
We pray this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
(Prayer card for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees; Vatican Migrants and Refugees Section.)
The theme for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees is "it's not just about migrants."
Pope Francis reminds us that our ability to see and respond to those in need is a deeply spiritual matter. If we fail to see the face of Christ in those who come to us seeking help, we have fallen short in faith and charity.
"That is why it is not just about migrants. When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays."
"It is not just about migrants...
...it is also about our fears.
...it is about our humanity.
...it is question of seeing that no one is excluded.
...it is about putting the last in first place.
...it is about the whole person, about all people.
...it is about building the city of God and man."
"I was a stranger and you welcomed me..." Matthew 25:31-46
www.JesuitMigrantSolidarity.org, Jesuits of the United States and Canada
A new website for education and action around immigration issues.
Advocacy on Behalf of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Jesuits of the United States and Canada
I took in a Honduran refugee. It was no big deal—really. John Anderson (America)
It's Not Just About Migrants..., Pope Francis
Virtual Teach-In on Migration, Ignatian Solidarity Network
The Jesuits often invoke this Latin word “magis” — the “more” or the “greater.” The idea is that in all our endeavors we should strive for something greater — the greater good and the greater glory of God.
God is inviting each of us to greater works of love, to the "most perfect manifestations" of the graces we have received. Each of us must discern the magis in our own lives. Here are some ideas to get you started.
|KNOW THEIR STORIES | Jesuit Refugee Service/USA |
Learn More About Refugees Through Their Stories
Learn more about the experiences of refugees by getting to know them. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA shares stories from some of the refugees that they work with around the world.
Read their stories.
|CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES | ISN |
Upholding the Inherent Dignity of Those Seeking Asylum
"As people of faith, we are a light in the darkness. We keep watch, we do not turn away, we unite in prayer and action for those who migrate. Join us in sending a message to Congress." (Ignatian Solidarity Network)
Contact your representatives.
We conclude by giving thanks to God for the graces we have received, reflecting on how God is present to us, and discerning God's invitation to greater works of love.