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Prayer for the World April 17, 2024

Responding to the Risen Christ in Our Midst


Introduction

During the Easter Season we are awakened to the reality of the Risen Christ in our midst.  Our challenge today, as it was for the disciples over 2000 years ago, is to recognize him in every human being.  Secondly, we are challenged to love one another as he has loved us.


Song:  O Lord hear my prayer, youtube, Taize, Chant for Peace and Serenity


Reading

Recently Sr. Lucille Martinez submitted a letter to the editor of our local paper.  The following is a quote from that letter:


As a Catholic Sister who recently volunteered at the U.S.-Mexico border, I am saddened and discouraged by recent coverage in the media of the increases in the number of migrants trying to cross the border.  The labels used to describe the immigration challenge as “floods of migrants,” people “storming” the border, immigration as an “invasion” can only cause American voters to become frightened and see this humanitarian challenge as a crisis to be eradicated.

It was my privilege to accompany migrants as they arrived at the border.  As a volunteer at Annunciation House in El Paso and at Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Mexico, I witnessed families arriving at the border hoping for the same things that we all value as U.S. citizens;  a safe place for their children, the freedom to pursue work without fear of extortion or government control, and a place where their families can grow and thrive in peace.  During my stay at Kino, I met and spoke with many families.  One particular family had been forced to leave their home by members of organized crime. The father had been threatened with death if he did not join the organization.  When he refused, they threatened to kidnap his two young sons.  Fearful his sons would be kidnapped and he would be killed, Alberto and his family were forced to flee to Nogales. Leaving behind their house, land, and all their possessions, they arrived at Kino with only  a few personal  items they could carry in their backpacks. This was a familiar story that I heard over and over again as I listened to the migrants and why they had left their country.


Lucille goes on to describe how we are presently experiencing a dark period in our nation’s immigration history where instead of being welcomed and cared for, our immigrant brothers and sisters are being exploited and politicized, dehumanized and labeled as criminals.  

She notes that most people agree that we need comprehensive immigration reform.  Let us s pray that, though our elected officials cannot agree on one comprehensive bill, that they at least take steps toward reform of our immigration system by passing individual bills in the direction of this badly needed reform, reform that manages the border and at the same time honors the rights and dignity of every person.


Silent Reflection


Prayer for a Diverse Community


Creator of all races and ethnicities, help us to see that a diverse community is the way

To deepen our lives and to know you more deeply.

 

Guard us from fear of the other,

From the fear that our own security is threatened

If we become truly willing to make a place at the table for all.

 

Open us to live out what we profess to believe:

That our true security is in you and in your call to justice and peace;

That we are part of your global family;

That the human dignity of everyone is sacred;

And that we are constantly called to conversion and inclusive community.

 

Help us recognize any form of racism in our hearts,

And in our legal systems and social structures.

Forgive our sins of exclusion.  Heal our souls and spirits.

Ground us in compassion for all in your grace.

 

Help us to take the steps you call us to take

to build a more just community,

Where difference is respected,

and where we can all join hands

and rejoice in the common good

Through the mercy of God, we pray.   Amen

 

Silent Reflection

 

Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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