Building a common future together
On the last Sunday of September, the Church has been celebrating World Migrant and Refugee Day since 1914: an occasion to show concern for the different categories of vulnerable people on the move, to pray for them as they face many challenges and to raise awareness about the opportunities offered by migration.
“We have no stable city here below, but we seek the city to come”
“…Dear brothers and sisters, and especially you, young people! If we want to cooperate with our heavenly Father in building the future, let us do it together with our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters. Let us build it today! Because the future begins today and it begins with each one of us. We cannot leave to the next generations the responsibility of decisions that must be taken now, so that God’s plan for the world may be realised and his Kingdom of justice, fraternity and peace may come. (Source: Messaggio di Papa Francesco per la 108° Giornata mondiale del Migrante e del Rifugiato)
In his Message 2022, Pope Francis points us to the method and spiritual sources to put into practice the values at the heart of the 108th Day, Building the future with migrants and refugees also recognises and values what each of them can contribute to the building process”:
- ‘We look forward to new heavens and a new earth, in which justice will have its abode’ (2 Pet 3:13). Justice is one of the building blocks of the Kingdom of God. In the daily search for his will, it must be built with patience, sacrifice and determination, so that all those who hunger and thirst for it may be satisfied (cf. Mt 5:6).
- No one must be excluded…For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, imprisoned and you came to visit me” (Mt 25:34-36).
- “Your gates will always be open, they will not close by day or by night, to let the riches of the peoples come to you” (Isaiah 60:11) …. The presence of migrants and refugees represents a great challenge but also an opportunity for cultural and spiritual growth for all. Thanks to them we have the chance to know the world and the beauty of its diversity better. We can mature in humanity and build together a greater “we”.
Lord, make us bearers of hope
that where there is darkness, your light may reign,
and where there is resignation, may confidence in the future be reborn.
Lord, make us instruments of your justice,
so that where there is exclusion, fraternity may flourish,
and where there is greed, may sharing flourish.
Lord, make us builders of your Kingdom
Together with migrants and refugees
and with all the inhabitants of the peripheries.
Lord, make us learn how beautiful it is
to live all as brothers and sisters. Amen.
(Rome, St John Laeran, 9 May 2022)