Friday, 4 September 2015


These days  there seems to be a feverish compulsion to build walls, fences, and barricades. ..For   what purpose? To prevent any kind of involvement with people in dire distress, any kind of responsibility   for them! This was the mentality of the Priest and the Levite who walked on the other side of the road to distance themselves from the wretched man who’d  been badly   mugged and robbed and left half dead.

For some people raising barriers and putting up fences with razor sharp cutting edges is the politically correct, socially correct, thing to do. To advocate such policies is the sure way to earn popularity and to secure votes. There’s a huge fear of refugees and migrants crossing national borders – not as invaders but as terrified people looking for safety.

They are destitute; they are hungry. They have no means of sheltering 
themselves from the burning rays of the sun, the misery of rain-soaked clothes.  They carry with them no food or medical supplies. They have been squeezed into boats that are not sea-worthy.  

If they are fortunate to reach dry land they find they are resented, unwelcome. In some places they are treated like criminals to be impounded behind barbed-wire fences.

 On the scales of justice there’s an obscene imbalance between those secure and comfortable peoples and nations and those who are on the threshold of desperation; an imbalance between those who are determined not to offer even a glimmer of hope and those howling infants in their mothers’ arms, the sickly, the frail, the   elderly, the young fathers and mothers who would lay down their very lives for the sake of the children.

They are utterly, totally dependent upon the good-will of others...others who are strangers. The only language that can speak is that of a shared humanity of caring and helping that responds to the voice of anguish, helplessness, and of hopelessness 

In this bleak world of so much indifference to human suffering there are the bright lights of  human decency and compassion. Immediately come to mind those heroic people who volunteered to go to the rescue of those who were afflicted with the highly infectious Ebola disease. 

And then there is the wonderful  

Regardless of nationality, race colour, religion, gender or age medically qualified people offer their   professional skills to the sick and  the wounded in areas and situations where medical care is  not  available. Frequently they are exposed to considerable risk because they are attending to people with highly infectious diseases or to the wounded on the battle field. 

Their concern is solely for  human beings in pain…no matter who the person is, no matter what the person’s allegiances – national, political, racial or religious... A total openness to suffering humanity 

                    In the same vein Pope Francis is now calling for a                                          CHURCH WITHOUT FRONTIERS – MOTHER TO ALL.                                          
                      This is the title of the Message he has written for                                                      World Day of Migrants and Refugees.                                        I quote the Pope,

Jesus is “the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person” (Evangelii Gaudium, 209). His solicitude, particularly for the most vulnerable  and marginalized, invites all of us to care for the frailest and to recognize the suffering countenance of Jesus, especially in the victims of new forms of poverty and slavery.

The Church without frontiers, Mother to all, spreads throughout the world a culture of acceptance and solidarity, in which no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable…, 

Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches.”

The following words of St. Paul should convince us that man-made barriers between people are offensive to Jesus, the Saviour of Mankind.

In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility,  by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end,” (Eph.2)


1 comment:

  1. Hungary and Macedonia are small countries, not very rich and I understand this, however. Is very difficult, I mean impossible, to comfort this people with job, place to live etc. Eastern Europe is not Germany or other western countries. Nevertheless I agree we should recognize Jesus in this refugges.