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Today, as part of the week of prayer for migrants and refugees, let us pray for those who are forced to flee their homes to seek economic security in other lands. May we understand that their story is the same as many who have traveled before them seeking life more abundant, more safe, with more opportunity and ability to flourish.
Pope Francis has warned us to not underestimate the connection between those discarded by a dehumanized economic system and ourselves, saying: "Before all else, I would restate my conviction that a world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane. This lack of concern for persons is a sign of regression and dehumanization in any political or economic system. Those who cause or allow others to be discarded — that's a boomerang! The truth is that, sooner or later, they will be discarded — whether refugees, children who are abused or enslaved, or the poor who die on our streets in cold weather — become themselves like soul-less machines. For they implicitly accept the principle that they too, sooner or later, will be discarded, when they no longer prove useful to a society that has made mammon, the god of money, the center of its attention." (January 2017)
And so we pray …
God our Father, we pray that you provide your divine protection to all migrants, particularly those … whose material poverty pushes them to find opportunities elsewhere. Show us how we might reach out to these vulnerable populations and help them to begin a new life in a new home. Open our hearts, so that we may provide hospitality for all who come in search of refuge. Give us the courage to welcome every stranger, as Christ in our midst. Bring our voices together to call for the end to unjust economic conditions that require these children of God to leave their homelands in search of a dignified existence. We ask this through your name. Amen.
Excerpted from A Prayer Care for National Migration Week, USCCB
© 2017 The Catholic Health Association of the United States