from Pax Christi France
Pax Christi France has put together a series of prayers and reflections for the weeks of Advent. Each Saturday, we’ll post those reflections on the blog for the upcoming Sunday. You can download the entire resource at this link in French.
Fourth Sunday of Advent, 23 December 2018
Here I am at home with you!
Extract from the letter of Pope Francis
“Welcoming” recalls the need to expand the possibilities of legal entry, to not push refugees and migrants back to places where persecution and violence await them, and to balance the concern for national security with the protection of fundamental human rights.
The Scripture reminds us of this: “Do not forget hospitality: it has allowed some, without knowing it, to entertain angels.”
“Protect” recalls the duty to recognise and guarantee the inviolable dignity of those fleeing a real danger in search of asylum and security, and to prevent their exploitation. I am thinking, in particular, of women and children who are in situations where they are more exposed to the risks and abuses that go so far as to make them slaves. God does not discriminate: “The Lord protects the stranger, he supports the widow and the orphan.”
To welcome and to protect is a part of the life that Mary lived with Jesus by offering a mother’s love.
“Globalization is good, especially if it is globalization with a human face, guided by solidarity. And migrants remind us of this globalisation of solidarity!” (Anselm Mahwera, a missionary priest from Africa, founder of Gao’s Migrant House)
- Have I ever had an experience of being welcomed? Or have I ever had the experience of being protected by someone?
- What feeling(s) or reaction(s) did I have?
Lord, you call us to take the path of meeting, open to others of another country, of another culture. Help us get started, together.
Impress us with your Word so that we can give substance to your Gospel:
– By welcoming each other, in trust, because each one carries a message from you. This meeting will make us grow in humanity.
– By protecting those in need, especially the weakest. Their flesh is your flesh!
– By promoting the life of each person and living together based on goodwill and mutual recognition, in the soil of respect, brotherhood, justice, peace.
– By living in a reconciled diversity that allows everyone to integrate, to be able to appreciate the beauty of this country where we live, ready to take care of it and bring the wealth it carries in it.
It’s not always an easy path; it demands choices, overcoming. But it is a way of life and hope that leads to your Kingdom. She invites us to walk as brothers and sisters, with you at our side.
(International Migrants Day 2018)
For deeper consideration
Here we are a few days away from Christmas. Let us take the time to live encountering others.