BY GIULIA MCPHERSON | March 3, 2017
Global displacement has reached record-high numbers, with more than 65 million people forced to leave their homes due to persecution, conflict, or human rights violations. That’s one in every 113 people, with an average of 24 people forced to flee every minute of every day.
These challenging times require compassion, faith, and action on the part of individuals, communities, and governments around the globe. Unfortunately, recent executive orders signed by the current U.S. administration endorse dramatic and discriminatory policies that will only harm, not help, the most vulnerable among us.
Today’s reading (Isaiah 58: 1-9) explores the true meaning of making our voices heard and creating change in the lives of those who are suffering. Our actions must be defined by “sharing bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.”
The Lord calls us to “cry out full-throated and unsparingly,” to lift up our voices “like a trumpet blast.” And this is indeed what we must do, as Americans, as people of faith, to welcome the stranger and embrace those who have no home, no country, are fleeing from war and destruction.
Call to Action:
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA works to meet the educational, psychosocial, health, and emergency needs of over 720,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons in more than 45 countries. We can respond during this Lenten season by taking action, by sharing with our elected officials the direction we want our country to take, by letting policymakers know that the U.S. must continue to welcome persecuted families and individuals who come to the U.S. to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.
Giulia McPherson is the Director of Advocacy & Operations at JRS/USA where she oversees the planning and execution of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA’s advocacy program, community engagement program and institutional operations. Giulia has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Villanova University and a masters degree in International Development Studies from The George Washington University. She and her husband, an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, live in Bethesda, MD with their three children.