Monday, December 16, 2019

Prayer in Solidarity with Migrants, Immigrants and Refugees

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We see God’s face and hear God’s voice in the cry of immigrants, migrants and refugees, the largest number of them since World War II. Seventy-one million people had been forced to flee their homes by the end of 2018*.  

As global citizens and as people of faith let us be in a compassionate circle of solidarity with our sisters and brothers from around the globe.    

Who did you see along the way? What did you see?
Who did you see along the way? What did you see?

We saw a child, 
sheltered from the burning sand,
in flight from a king,
a drift from home.
He seemed like one of us.

We saw a man prone beneath an olive tree,
with death in his eyes, estranged from home.
He seemed like one of us.

We saw a woman reaching for her dying son,
held back by police,
no heart for home.
She seemed like one of us.

We saw a crowd, robed in white before the Lamb,
their journey now done,
at last at home.
They seemed to call to us.

Who did you See?  Lyrics © Andrew Hamilton, SJ. Music © Christopher Willcock, SJ

Leader: We gather in the presence of the God of infinite love and compassion.  God calls us to bear witness to the dignity of every human person of every culture and country.  We pray with migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers—mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles. We remember especially the children—frightened, alone, hungry, and cold. These are God’s children—our children.  May we amplify their voices. May we amplify their cries.

We remember that Abraham and Sarah welcomed strangers and God blessed them.
We remember “You were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
We remember Jesus, Mary, and Joseph who were refugees.
We remember Alan Kurdi, the Syrian refugee child who drowned in the Mediterranean.
We remember 39 Vietnamese migrant workers who died in a closed truck in England.
We remember a 5-year-old from Honduras who was taken from his father in the U.S. He said: “The immigration agents separated me from my father right away. I was very frightened and scared. I cried. I have not seen my father again. . . It is cold at night when we sleep. I have shoes but no socks.”

See the faces and listen to the voices of the children and other vulnerable people.*** 

Time for discussion
How can we learn to recognize the face of God in migrants, immigrants, and refugees?  How can we amplify their voices of so that more people in the world will respond with compassion and justice?  How can we get others who minister with us to amplify the voices of little ones?***

Reading from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 10:13-16)
People were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

Leader: Let us pray that we may follow the example of Jesus and embrace and bless the children and all the vulnerable. 

Loving God,
pour out your Spirit upon us
that we have strength and wisdom
to stand with your global family.
We pray in the name of the Incarnate Word.

The service might end with all moving in a compassionate circle dance of solidarity.**** 

*United Nations on Refugees
***Select some of the stories to read from English    
****See a circle dance on World Refugee Day, an invitation to recognize others as gifts of God, as the Divine among us, an invitation to dance together with our sisters and brothers.

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