Just Start (5): Open Doors "Assisting Refugees"

In this new video in the series on the works of mercy, people in Austria and Germany speak about their efforts to assist refugees seeking a new home in their country.

Questions for dialogue

— What difficulties do the immigrants in the video face?

— What are some of the other problems immigrants and refugees confront today?

— How are the immigrants in the video being helped?

— What do you think motivates those seeking to assist the immigrants?

Suggestions for action

— Pray for those who have had to flee their homeland.

— Find out more about the situation of immigrants in your country.

— Consider ways you personally can assist immigrants or help out in initiatives organized by your parish or civil entities with this aim.

Quotes from Sacred Scripture to reflect on

— And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Lk 2:7).

— He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me (Mt 10:40).

— Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebr 13:2).

— He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner therefore; for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt (Deut 10:18-19).

Quotes from Pope Francis to reflect on

— At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined with the encounter and acceptance of God himself. Welcoming others means welcoming God in person! (Message, September 12, 2015).

I was a stranger … each one of you, refugees who knock at our doors, has the fact of God, and is the flesh of Christ. Your experience of pain and of hope reminds us that we are all strangers and pilgrims on this Earth, welcomed by someone with generosity and without deserving this (Message, April 19, 2016).

— Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world (Message, August 5, 2013).

— There is a risk of passively accepting certain forms of behaviour and of not being shocked by the sad reality surrounding us. We become accustomed to violence, as though it were a predictable part of the daily news. We become accustomed to brothers and sisters sleeping on the streets, who have no roof to shelter them. We become accustomed to refugees seeking freedom and dignity, who are not received as they ought to be. We become accustomed to living in a society which thinks it can do without God (Audience, March 5, 2014).

Quotes from Saint Josemaria to reflect on

— Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for men, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. Men, their happiness and their life, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up (Christ is Passing By, no. 165).

— Just as Christ “went about doing good” throughout Palestine, so must you also spread peace in your family circle, in civil society, on the job, and in your cultural and leisure activities. This will be the best proof that the kingdom of God has reached your heart (Christ is Passing By, no. 166).

— A man or a society that does not react to suffering and injustice and makes no effort to alleviate them is still distant from the love of Christ’s heart (Christ is Passing By, no. 167).

Personal stories of refugees

Mariam: Living among Christians in Lebanon

The "Our Father" in the Language Christ Spoke

Bassam and Raghad: "Welcome Home"