Fourth Sunday of Lent: There is Still Hope

BY JOAN ROSENHAUER | March 27, 2022
Today’s Readings
Reflexión en Español

On Ash Wednesday, I visited a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, where people who have fled their homes in Central America are waiting to apply for protection in the U.S. Their stories are unique but have a common theme—they feared for their safety in their home countries. One woman I met fled with her husband and two young children. After her brother was murdered by a cartel, she was told they would come after her and her husband next. At one point they arrived in the U.S. and requested asylum. The U.S. government put the family on a plane, and they thought they were being flown to California. Her little girl kept saying during the flight how wonderful their lives would be in the U.S. But when they landed, they were in El Paso and were walked across the bridge to Juarez. Her six-year-old cried as the woman shared this story. Yet they still have hope that they will cross into the U.S. and find safety.

[Image: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA]

A highlight of my visit was joining the asylum-seekers for Mass and distribution of ashes. How moving it was to join these brave people who knew the pain of fleeing their homes and to pray for the people fleeing their homes in Ukraine. Our faith brings us together as one human family. As Jesuit Refugee Service responds to the heartbreak at the southern U.S. border, in Ukraine, and in far too many other places, there is still hope. 

There is hope if we recognize the goodness of the Lord in our midst reflected in the goodness of our brothers and sisters, and if we bring God’s welcome and love to all people throughout the world.  We can each play our part and consistently ask ourselves, “What can I do to keep my heart open for God’s call to bring love and justice to those in greatest need?”

6 replies
  1. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    i /can bring those in most need the justice they deserve by Radical Hospitality as our Pope calls us to do. The story that “Joan” the author tells us can be seen as a message of hope as the ‘migrants’ move forward in the direction of a meaningful life, filled with hope. The family she writes about have moved forward and hit a ‘bump in the road’. They, like all of us as migrants, can offer prayer, alms and the promise that we will vote for the safety and holiness of all migrants as they move in a hope filled direction. May Mary and all the saints watch over those in need and bring them to the place of hope and trust they desire through Christ Our Lord. Amen

    • Jeanne Bates
      Jeanne Bates says:

      While we are so caught up in providing prayers and support for Ukraine’s citizens, and rightfully so, there is such a stark contrast in the support for asylum seekers that are at our southern border. I am so taken by the idea of Radical Hospitality. Can you explain more?

    • Bob
      Bob says:

      Through all the prayers and platitudes, the pain perseveres. Sometimes I feel we use our Hope as a balm to cover and perhaps heal our scarred hearts. Hearts hurt from too many past hopes that have been dashed by incessant failure to change immigration policy to match the Mercy and Hope we have proclaimed over the decades. Ah, perhaps it’s patience I lack or God’s lens for immigrant’s futures?

  2. Bob
    Bob says:

    I felt crushed for this family in today’s reflection on God’s infinite Mercy b/c @ 86 I have seen this “wonderful” country, with it’s supposed Judeo-Christian heritage, continue to treat people like dirt!
    Hope wears thin without a change of heart. We now seem to be a Country who cares more for self, comfort, and convenience that for mercy.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    As the world focuses on Ukraine, I remember Austria opening her doors to the flood of migrants in 2015. How they welcomed unaccompanied minors and young families. Five years later when the young people reached the age of 18, they were told to leave Europe and return to war torn Afghanistan. Lockdown was used to persecute these very people. now they live illegally in Europe on the streets. The only ones who are safe are the very few, who were illegally at the time, adopted by caring individuals. If we open our homes for others, please make sure it is a commitment for life to treat them as our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. May governments and individuals not just do it for short term financial gain!

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Bringing love and justice to those in greatest need is a mission second to none. May the Lord of justice inspire many more volunteers to toil in his vineyard.


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