From Foreigners to Friends

From Foreigners to Friends

BY KATIE LASKEY | August 21, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

The readings this weekend emphasize how the salvation of Christ, the love of God, and the mission of the Church include everyone, regardless of race or creed. They emphasize that the Gentiles who show faithfulness, along with Jews, will be welcomed into the kingdom of God and their sacrifices “will be acceptable” to the Lord.

From Foreigners to Friends

This summer, I led my first overnight service trip as a parish youth minister. I was nervous about how my upper-middle class group would be perceived, how the young men who attended would interact with the communities we were entering. In my need to get things done and be as much help as possible, I often overlooked the deeper significance of simply being present. At each site, there was at least one person, either an employee or client, who emphasized the importance of these young men showing up to accompany these communities. At one site serving new immigrants to the United States, an employee who had survived the Rwandan genocide bonded with one student in particular who helped her shred old documents. More important than the task at hand was their conversation and companionship that revealed the love of Christ to the entire group.

Another woman we encountered who had fled her country because of political persecution told the students to keep using their social media platforms for good because kids around the world are inspired by it. I never thought I’d encounter an adult encouraging social media use, but the interaction was a reminder that God is in all things and all things can be used to glorify God. Our day with this organization reminded me that we are all foreigners in some way or another, and that by embracing each other, we can all become friends in Christ.

For Reflection:

  • How am I participating in the ministry of God on Earth?
  • How can I reach out to include all people in the love of God and mission of the Church?
  • How do I view “foreigners”? Where am I a “foreigner”?
4 replies
  1. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    How can I reach out to include all people in the love of God and mission of the Church? is the question Katie poses to us today. I was thinking of my uncle, Servant of God, Msgr. Bernard J Quinn who throughout his life focused on the needs of his flock. He was a proponent of social justice in a quiet and gentle way when he started an orphanage in Wading River, New York and brought with him poor orphans from Brooklyn. He would never describe them as ‘poor orphans’ but succinctly as in need of God’s love. His response to people was out of love and care. Even when the orphanage was burnt down, he built it again and educated the boys and girls. When it was burned down a second time, he again rebuilt the orphanage.He answered the call of Christ to take care of our neighbors with care and comfort. He would also be the one praying for those who burnt the orphanage down. Today, I will say a special ‘yes’ to what God asks of me and I ask others to do the same.

  2. Cathe
    Cathe says:

    Beautiful reflection! A great reminder that each and everyone of us can be an instrument of God’s love, regardless of differnces

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    How can I reach out to include all people?
    As our city has recently experienced a spate of the homeless being deliberately shot at to maim or kill. I can reach out with Christ’s love and share how angels have kept me warm, protected me and kept me safe when I was sleeping in a park in other cities.

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

    We are all distinguished foreigners privileged to be journeying on God’s Holy Ground and living in God’s Time.


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