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The story in the Gospel of Luke about the Good Samaritan starts with a question: Who is my neighbor?” The bible is filled with admonitions and invitations to be kind to strangers. The Gospel of Matthew tells us to welcome Jesus in the stranger. The book of Exodus warns Israel not to oppress foreigners. The book of Leviticus encourages us to make no distinction between the foreigner and the native-born.
And yet today the situation concerning refugees, migrants and displaced persons is still serious. According to the UN Refugee Agency, almost 27 million people are refugees, over 4 million are seeking asylum, and over 45 million people are consider internally displaced, which means they have left their homes but not their country. They often suffer just as much as refugees who leave their country. More than two out of three refugees came from just five countries. More than a third of these refugees are hosted in just five countries.
The bible implies that our obligations to the poor, suffering and outcasts are high. Those of us who have will be judged on how generous we were to those who have not. We will be asked at judgement about how well we treated Jesus in the stranger, the poor, the hungry and imprisoned. And yet we know that it is rarely the case the poor are treated well. Moreover, the pandemic has only heightened the differences between those who have and those who do not. We see it in the level of care and treatment, we see it in vaccine distribution, and we see it in economic impact. As we continue the Rosary Marathon, let us seek for conversion of our hearts, that we may be more generous and let us pray for all migrants.
Today’s Intention: For all migrants.