Migration from the perspective of Faith

Do I live for myself or for others?  Do I try to gain all that I can for myself and my family or do I try to share what I receive with the poor?  Do I look for happiness in my success or in my service?  Do I find peace in a gated neighborhood well protected by security guards or in a neighborhood tied to those near it by bridges of friendship.

These are the questions that we need to be asking in today’s world.  These are fundamental questions that determine in what kind of world we are going to live.  I believe that they also indicate if in truth we have grasped the meaning of this Christian life.  They will determine if in fact we are on a Christian path or not.

In the Hebrew Scriptures we can read again and again how God commanded his people to treat the foreigner with justice.  In the New Testament The Lord teaches us in actions, in parables and in words that we ought to love in a special way those who live on the borders of life: the poor, the sick, the marginalized the foreigners, even sinners.

He never said as far as I can recall that we ought to care only for ourselves.

He never said we should only serve those who can pay us back.

Regarding the little ones he says, whoever offers a cup of water will not go without his reward.

Regarding the blind man shouting his name he says, “Call him!”

To those weary and burdened he says, “Come to me!

To the pagan woman from Tyre he says, “Your daughter is healed.”

To the woman caught in adultery he says, “Your sins are forgiven.”

To his disciples who want to dismiss the crowds so they can seek food he says, “You give them something to eat!”

It is really very simple: To be a disciple of Christ means that we follow his example, that we do as he has done.  We want people to be able to live in peace in their home countries with their families and within their communities. No one should be forced to flee their place of origin.

But when a situation such as this happens we, as people of Faith, particularly we who are Christians, have a very blest opportunity to live our Faith.  The Faith is not something one can live in abstraction.  Faith requires action!

I thank God for this opportunity and for the generous response of the people of El Paso.  I give thanks for Ruben Garcia and to Annunciation House for their example and leadership through the years and particularly in this past year.  With their example and the participation of many within our community I believe we have demonstrated how we, as Americans and as people of Faith, ought to respond to our neighbors in need.


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