WE WALK THE SACRED JOURNEY THIS WEEK
In The Word
“Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” (Heb. 13:2)
In Our Contemplation –
We begin this new year with hopes for a brighter tomorrow. Keep your eye on the prize.
As National Migration Week ends, these words from Pope Francis, U.S. Bishops, parishioners, immigrants and immigrant resettlement advocates, and Catholic newspapers are worth reflecting on.
For the Christian faith, encounter with others is very important. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others. (Pope Francis)
Real lives are at stake in our immigration debates – humans whose lives are precious, with stories, faces, names into which we must be drawn into encounter. Immigration reform is about people. It’s not about politics. It’s about fathers and mothers and children and brothers and sisters. If we could learn to put humans at the center of our debates, then perhaps we could learn to treat one another humanely, as well. Let us remind ourselves of the moments when our loved ones were forced to seek the mercy of others in a new land. ((U.S. Bishops statement)
Through our prayer and reflection together, we saw the movement toward encounter as urgent within religious congregations today. We must work hard to encounter and build bridges instead of just welcoming new members of diverse countries, cultures and languages into the status quo. Being the “stranger” in a congregation is hard work. We must match that commitment to “border-crossing” so as to model what we are trying to do: bring unity into the world. (New woman religious)
Where are empathy and the ability to see someone else’s perspective and wonder, “What would I do if my family were in danger?” (Parishioner)
More than once, sitting across from someone who cannot stop crying, has flooded my soul with the realization:their despair is my despair. Immigrants are all of us. The journey of refugees haunts us. (Detention Center chaplain)
Do we believe in the American Dream or not? Forcing aspiring “Dreamers” out has consequences. Deport them and we deport our future builders of bridges, teachers of children, savers of lives. Deport them and we deport our fundamental values as Americans. (Resettlement advocate)
he opportunities I’ve had to “migrate” out of my comfort zones and to be welcomed as “stranger” in other lands gave me a taste of the beautiful diversity of the people of God. But although I have been a “stranger” or “minority” in certain senses of the word, no matter how different I felt, my privilege as a white, English- speaking citizen of the United States, has followed me wherever I’ve gone. I could never comprehend the anxiety of being an undocumented Latino navigating life in a Cincinnati neighborhood. (Volunteer)
It is time to remind our nation that we have been enriched by following the light of diversity and openness to the “stranger”. (Bishop Blaise Cupich)
In the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense debate over immigration reform and refugee policy. Ultimately the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God?
Through the lens of this reflection, how is God calling you to move?
In Our Prayer
God of the journey, God of the traveler, we pray for those who leave their homes in search of new beginnings and possibilities. May they know your presence with them. We pray that those who seek to make a home in this country may find us welcoming and willing to give them a path toward citizenship. We pray that our legislators, as they craft immigration law may find the wisdom and courage to enact new policies that do justice for our country and for those who would immigrate here. We pray for those who would fan the flames of fear and discrimination against the undocumented that they may be touched with your divine compassion. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In Our Response
► Follow this link to the reflective account of Tracy Kemme, a woman new to religious life who reflects on her experience of mission outside the U.S.
► Follow this link to a short video which will touch you deeply and show you how unity grows one by one.
► Once a week for the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, CA will send a suggestion for action to address issues of Social Justice. The suggestion for next week: Join an organization that works on one of the justice issues that you are passionate about. Sign up for their action alerts and take action during these 100 days.