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.

Primary school run by JRS in Goz Beida’s Djabal refugee camp in Chad. (Christian Fuchs, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)

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.

4 replies
  1. Avatar
    Katerina says:

    I am a Catholic and my husband and since September my husband and I have been working to support a Syrian family in our community. This family has enriched our lives in countless ways. From Pope Francis to this Jesuit outreach it confirms our call to help these refugees. I am saddened that in our individual churches the call is much less visible. My belief is that it is an avoidance of any perceived political conflict.

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  2. Avatar
    Rev. Kimberly B. Glenn says:

    As a Christian I too welcome everyone but that said, we must obey the laws on the books regarding immigration and there is evidence that dangerous people have found there way into our nation through loopholes in our current system. I do not see the president’s current efforts as an outright ban on immigration but rather a much needed opportunity to make our borders more secure against threats. Pausing and breathing before overreacting is something that I believe Jesus advised us when he expanded on the Jewish Mosaic understanding of resisting evil. We simply must move more slowly while doing all that we can to help the refugees in their highly vulnerable state of being. Let’s send bands of us to them to help escort them in by way of a legal process.

    All of us must pass through security checks and bars to open borders in other countries. All of us must pass through security checks and bars to open admission to sporting events and concerts. The same must be true of our borders in order to maintain sovereignty while embracing the refugees when they arrive.

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