The Holy Family were refugees from a corrupt political situation and an unstable ruler. No matter how much Matthew focuses on the way this flight into another country fulfilled passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, the fact is they were fleeing for their lives. Pope Francis never misses an opportunity to remind us of this reality. In caring for today’s refugees from the many war-torn places around the globe, we are caring for the least of God’s people, and the end of Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that in doing so, we are caring for Christ himself. We may wish that our religious experience could take place in some sort of bubble, protected from the political divisions and ideological arguments that blare into our lives from the media. But Jesus was clearly born into a world of politics and ideology, of power struggles and armed conflicts. We can learn from him that our loyalty is ultimately to the kingdom of God and to the truth, not to any one political point of view. Pray to the Holy Family to watch in a special way over today’s refugees that they might find a place of safety and peace and perhaps one day return to their homes and families.
—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek
2 thoughts on “Seeking Safe Refuge”
In order to welcome refugees adequately we need to ensure that we provide them with a hospitable, safe, healthy, clean environment with sufficient space and ensure that all who enter as well as the other people living in our country are protected from those who intend to do harm to the many good, innocent and vulnerable refugees and others living in our country (sex traffickers, traffickers of Fentanyl & other drugs, terrorists, robbers & other criminals), from disease, from overcrowding, and from chaos.
We need to ensure that the many good people who are in need to enter our borders are treated the way we would welcome friends to stay in our homes. We need to focus more on the quality of the environment we provide than quantity.
This should not be based on political motivations but on the values of common sense and Christian hospitality.
How I wish that all sides of the political spectrum on the issues of immigration and refugees would put politics aside, would avoid both the extremes of focusing on the law and stereotyping refugees and undocumented immigrants negatively on one hand and opening our borders indiscriminately and allowing crime, inhospitable conditions, overcrowding and disease on the other hand, would enter into meaningful and constructive dialogue, focus on doing what is best for all concerned (refugees, undocumented immigrants, and citizens and immigrants already living in our country) and establish workable solutions and just, compassionate and prudent policies.