“One central aspect of the kingdom is that everyone is invited without exception... the ritual of welcome enables [the immigrants] to enter an alternative world, a world where they experience acceptance in place of discrimination. The team welcomes these immigrants because they believe that in welcoming them they welcome Christ... [putting] into practice the words of Jesus as expressed in Matthew, ‘I was hungry and you gave me food... thirsty and you gave me something to drink...a stranger and you welcomed me’ (Matthew 25:35). In clapping upon their arrival, lavishly celebrating their presence, and making them feel at home, these strangers are treated as treasured friends and bearers of divine life. This... communicates to these immigrants one of the most fundamental dimensions of the Gospel: God’s universal welcome to all, especially to the marginalized, rejected, and poor of society.”
--description of the Encuentro Misionero retreat in
”Border of Death, Valley of Life: An Immigrant Journey of Heart and Spirit”
Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).
Suggested prayer: Create in me an open heart, O Lord, and be born in me! Grant me the grace to recognize your presence in every one I meet, in every breath I take. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, that I may faithfully sing with you, “My soul proclaims your greatness, O Lord, for you have done great things for me. Holy is your name!”
Suggested action: Honor and celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe by learning about the Church’s “welcoming” tradition of hospitality to migrants and refugees.
- Read the U.S. Bishops Pastoral Statement, “Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity”
- Check out these quotes from Church teachings on the rights of migrants and refugees