Let us Build our Future Alongside Refugees
13 May 2022
Ahead of 2022’s World Day for Refugees and Migrants, Pope Francis calls to us to build our future alongside refugees and migrants so that we may build a future with our heavenly Father:
No one must be excluded. God’s plan is essentially inclusive and gives priority to those living on the existential peripheries. Among them are many migrants and refugees, displaced persons, and victims of trafficking. The Kingdom of God is to be built with them, for without them it would not be the Kingdom that God wants. The inclusion of those most vulnerable is the necessary condition for full citizenship in God’s Kingdom. Indeed, the Lord says, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:34-36).
We must start building this future today so that all people have safe homes where families can thrive, and so that each generation may benefit from our work in a more inclusive and peaceful world. If we want to build God’s kingdom, we must do so by example, welcoming refugees fleeing violence and persecution and promoting justice and peace for all. We must also recognize that refugees bring their own skills, stories, and lived experiences with them, and they will make us all richer, for it is through diversity that our communities thrive.
Welcoming the stranger, accompanying displaced families and bringing hope to those in greatest need are three of our core values here at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA). We cannot forget to include all of our refugee brothers and sisters in our efforts. It does not matter where they come from or what their race, religion, or ethnic background is; every refugee is part of our one human family, and no refugee is less worthy of inclusion than another.