When we look at the many Nativity scenes displayed at this time, do we see a child of poor parents who was refused the shelter available to others? Do we see all the children hiding in the backgrounds of our wars and conflicts who are absorbing rejection, political hostility, violence and national fears? Do we wonder what is happening in the spirits of these children? Have we any common feeling of responsibility for them? They will live in the future we are creating. What are we teaching them? What kind of future are we leaving them? How can they learn to live in peace and harmony in a hostile and turbulent world?
May we learn how to create a future for the children.
Reflect on the gospel stories of the trip to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus and the flight into Egypt. Apply them to today’s world. What are we teaching our own children?
And she brought forth her firstborn Son and she wrapped him in swaddling bands, and she laid him in a manger because there was no place for them where they might lodge.
Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.
Think of the starving children in refugee camps, think only of this! This is the result of war!
The tragedy of these multitudes is reflected in the hopeless faces of men, women and children who can no longer find a home in a divided and inhospitable world.
John Paul II
The child awakens to a universe.
The mind of the child to a world of meaning.
Imagination to a world of beauty.
Emotions to a world of intimacy.
It takes a universe to make a child
both in outer form and inner spirit.
It takes a universe to educate a child.
A universe to fulfill a child.
There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.
You know, those of us who leave our homes in the morning and expect to find them there when we go back – it’s hard for us to understand what the experience of a refugee might be like.
Naomi Shihab Nye
I know what it’s like when you are a refugee, living on the mercy of others and having to adjust.
In the midst of migrants in search of a better life there are people in need of protection: refugees and asylum-seekers, women and children victims of trafficking…Many move simply to avoid dying of hunger. When leaving is not an option but a necessity, this is more than poverty.
There are 2 million Syrian refugee children. And every day, thousands more kids are ripped from their homes and schools, left with painful memories of violence and confusion over what they’ve lost.
So often the world sits idly by, watching ethnic conflicts flare up, as if these were mere entertainment rather than human beings whose lives are being destroyed. Shouldn’t the existence of even one single refugee be a cause for alarm throughout the world?