HOW WELCOMING AM  I?Reflection for December 2008

What can the people of Bethlehem have thought on seeing a young man travelling with a very pregnant young woman, and with nowhere to spend the night? Are we among those who make assumptions about the newcomers in our midst?

It is easy from the comfort of one’s own home and culture to make all sorts of assumptions about why the ‘foreigner’ has often come to live among us.  For the refugee, being here is not usually the result of a freely made decision.  Moreover, even where the decision has been freely made, the leaving of country, family and father’s house often leaves the newcomer in a particularly vulnerable position. What can it be to establish yourself in another country or to build a home and raise a young family without that support which the wider family so often offers? 

How easy or fulfilling is it to work where you do not know the language, where your presence may be resented, and your skills and achievements go unrecognised? …Away from country, friends and family, in what can be a fairly hostile environment, the only constant in a migrant’s life, the only familiar territory that the migrant can bring with them, is his or her faith.  How important then the welcome that he or she receives from the community of faith!”

“What you do to the least of these…you do to Me” Matt 20.40

Who is My Neighbour The Agency for Evangelisation, Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, London.

For more reflection material prepared by Catholic Ireland clik on the link below. We hope that you will be challenged to see things differently! clik here.


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