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World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2019

1 October 2019
Image: Migrants & Refugees Section, Integral Human Development.

 

“It is not just about migrants”

 

Reflections on World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2019

 

 

It’s also about our fears

GOSPEL

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (Mt 14,27)

POPE FRANCIS

“Often, we refuse to encounter the other and we raise barriers to defend ourselves. Refusing to encounter others is not human. Rather, we are called to overcome our fear and open ourselves up to encounter.” Pope Francis (Sacrofano, 15 February 2019)

 

It’s also about charity

GOSPEL

“For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?” (Mt 5,46)

POPE FRANCIS

“Charity cannot be neutral, antiseptic, indifferent, lukewarm or impartial! Charity is infectious, it excites, it risks and it engages! For true charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous!” Pope Francis (15 February 2015).

 

It’s also about our humanity

GOSPEL

“But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.” (Luke, 10: 33-34)

POPE FRANCIS

“‘Humanity’, by virtue of which you take care of the sufferings of many people, is the same that drives the Good Samaritan to tend to the wounded man lying on the ground. He feels compassion and makes himself his neighbour: without compassion, he would keep himself at a distance, and the man attacked by the brigands would remain for him a faceless subject.” Pope Francis (Address to members of the Italian Red Cross, 27 January 2018).

 

It’s about not excluding anyone

GOSPEL

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:10).

POPE FRANCIS

“’Where is your brother?’ His blood cries out to me, says the Lord. This is not a question directed to others; it is a question directed to me, to you, to each of us. These brothers and sisters of ours were trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace; they were looking for a better place for themselves and their families, but instead they found death.” Pope Francis (Homily, Lampedusa, 8 July 2013).

 

It’s about putting the last and least in first place

GOSPEL

“It shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.” (Mark 10: 43-44).

POPE FRANCIS

“An individualistic spirit is fertile soil for the growth of that kind of indifference towards our neighbours which leads to viewing them in purely economic terms, to a lack of concern for their humanity, and ultimately to feelings of fear and cynicism. Are these not the attitudes we often adopt towards the poor, the marginalised and the least of society? And how many of these least do we have in our societies! Among them I think primarily of migrants, with their burden of hardship and suffering, as they seek daily, often in desperation, a place to live in peace and dignity.” Pope Francis (Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 11 January 2016).

 

It’s about the whole person and about all people

GOSPEL

“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).

POPE FRANCIS

“Blessed Paul VI, in his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, states that ‘development cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well rounded’, that is, it must fully promote the whole person, and also all people and populations”. Pope Francis (Letter to Card. Turkson, 23 November 2017).

 

It’s about building the City of God and man

GOSPEL

“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God” (Ephesians, 2:19)

POPE FRANCIS

“Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community.” Pope Francis (Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014)

 

Read Pope Francis’ Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees here.

With thanks to Migrants & Refugees Section, Integral Human Development.

 

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