Welcoming the Stranger – I attended a Syrian Refugee workshop presented by my Diocese. It gave me us a better understanding of how we can be present to them. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. This statement from Matthew is one we follow willingly and lovingly in the Vincentian family. The 102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, is January 17, 2016. We are called upon to serve those coming to our country. We are called to serve those who may not speak our language or know our ways. They are frightened and displaced. Our job is to serve Jesus in each one of them. Pope Francis has urged us all to reach beyond the “globalization of indifference”1 to listen to the cries and to hear the silent suffering of our brothers and sisters. He has challenged every European parish to welcome a family of refugees. We must respond to this crisis, here and now, as Christians, as Canadians, as human beings. The refugees are larger in number than after the 2nd World. War are in need and we and we are called to serve them. In an ideal world, no one would have to leave the country of their birth. Unfortunately, in our world today, persecution, oppression, and war are giving rise to one crisis after another, forcing the innocent to take flight. Even the child Jesus himself was a refugee when His family fled the persecution of King Herod (Matthew 2.13-14). We are called to serve Jesus in each Refugee and we welcome the stranger.
God’s Mercy – Find a quiet place with God, today. We cannot give to others what we don’t have if we don’t take time to nurture our relationship with God. We live in a very fast-paced world and it seems like we can never keep up with all the demands of this speed. We try harder and work faster and stay busy longer, yet it seems like the people who demand a piece of our time are more numerous than we can handle. How many times do we ask God for something but our prayers don’t get answered? Why does that happen? We’ve heard all the standard answers: God did answer but the answer was no. We didn’t pray enough or say the right prayer. We don’t have enough faith. If our answer is, “God’s too busy to be concerned about my little request.” This just is not true. We have to believe and spend the time with God to feel His mercy. Sometimes we become frustrated with our busy schedule and do not understand why God is not helping us. It is not God who is too busy it is us and we have to take the time to talk to Him. Spend the time in quiet solitude to allow God to nurture us. Find a special quiet place and make it your reflection zone so you can be alone with God without distractions. We pray His will be done. He will always be with us, just take the time to feel His presence and hear His message to us. We are never alone. Take the time to receive His Mercy.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.
Her newsletter is translated into 3 languages.