Like Jesus Christ, forced to flee
The Church has been celebrating World Migrant and Refugee Day since 1914. It has always been an opportunity to show concern for different categories of vulnerable people on the move, to pray for them as they face many challenges, and to raise awareness of the opportunities offered by migration.
The theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 106th World Migrant and Refugee Day is
“Like Jesus Christ, forced to flee"
and will focus on the pastoral care of internally displaced persons.
This World Day was born in the context of the Catholic Church to spiritually and operationally call the followers of Jesus to mercy towards the last and historically precedes those established by the UN for Migrants (January 17) and for Refugees (June 20) to recall the followers of Jesus spiritually. Today, more than ever before, we live days in which the abuses, favored by the West, risk to prevail over the primordial value that the West itself brings to the history of humanity: the right of each one to dignity for the sole fact of being a man, beyond any religion, race and culture. This is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and, well before that, the message of Jesus Christ that establishes an unprecedented sense of encounter with the foreigner: mercy and compassion whoever the other is, as in the parable of the Samaritan.