God, our Father, I offer You my day. I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, Who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today so that I may witness to your love.
With Mary, the mother of our Lord and the Church, I pray for all Apostles of Prayer and for the prayer intentions proposed by the Holy Father this month.
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.
Changing the ethnic profile of any community can breed fear and hostility from natives towards strangers. Many of us have witnessed incidences of verbal abuse, harassment and unprovoked violent attacks upon broken-spirited immigrants who have sought refuge in our country, fleeing war, famine or hostility in their own country.
Everybody comes into our lives with their unique talents. From each other, we learn and share, grow and develop together as brethren and children of one God. We possess the free will to hurt or heal, to invite or turn away, to open our mind, expand our horizons or stagnate in ignorance. Jesus instructed us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger. When we do this for the least of His brothers or sisters, we do it for Him.
Before we make our choices, we must remember the feeling of being treated as a friend or a stranger, to be welcomed or marginalised, to sense loved or unloved. Place yourself in the jaded footsteps of the refugees. In desperation, they have left their home, cultural background and, in many cases, members of their immediate families seeking safety among strangers of another culture with a different language in another land. Human goodness is beheld through tolerant individuals and the citizens who make up local community groups to work closely with refugees for their inclusion in the new community in which they find themselves. Welcome the refugee as you welcome Jesus.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)