SEPTEMBER 2018: RESPECTING OTHERS, BEFRIENDING THE WORLD IN CHRIST

SEPTEMBER 2018
THEME : RESPECTING OTHERS, BEFRIENDING THE WORLD IN CHRIST

FOCUS : MISSION
EVENT : MIGRANT SUNDAY

INTRODUCTION

The focus for this month’s reflection is the issue of migrants and refugees. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is “Welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating migrants and refugees.” As Christians, “we have the unique opportunity to advocate and support the concrete actions [to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate our migrant and refugee neighbours ],” and to share this message with all, especially our political and social leaders.

OPENING PRAYER
Invite a member of the BEC to say a prayer.

OPENING HYMN
Love it was that made us And it was love that saved us Love was God’s plan, when He made man God’s Divine Nature is Love. Born of God’s love we must love Him That’s why He made us to love Him. But only when we love all men Can we partake of God’s love.
1. Love is a wonderful thing Joy in our hearts it will bring, Where there’s true love there is God, And where there’s God there is Love.

2. Christ said: Love must be a sign By which men will know you are mine, A new commandment I give, Each other love as I did.

DIALOGUE
In his message for 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis states that throughout the first years of his pontificate, he has repeatedly expressed his particular concern for the sad situation of many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty. As a result, the Pope instituted the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to express the Church’s concern for migrants, displaced people, refugees and victims of human trafficking. According to the Pope, this solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.” In this regard, the Pope proposes that the Church’s response can be summarised in four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate” To welcome – above all, means offering migrants and refugees to opportunities to enter destination countries safely and legally. These include: to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families, for more countries to adopt private and community sponsorship programmes, and open humanitarian corridors for vulnerable refugees, grant special temporary visas to people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries, etc.

To protect – may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status. Such protection begins in the country of origin, and consists in offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices.

To promote – essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings, in all the dimensions which constitute the humanity intended by the Creator.

To integrate – concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees. Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.

For full text of the Pope’s message: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2017-11/pope-message-world-day-of-migrants-and-refugees.html

Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person.
What do you feel is the general perception of Malaysian Catholics with regards to migrants and refugees in the country and in the Church?
Do you feel that migrants are welcomed in our parishes? If yes, how? If no, why not?

DISCERNMENT
Biblical Text: Leviticus 19:34
1. Read the text two or three times
2. Be in silence with the text – read silently by your own
3. What words or phrase caught your attention? Write it down
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4. (Choose only one from #3): What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Write it down
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5. Share in small groups (3-4 persons) on #3 and #4

DEEDS
How do you think your BEC can best help to welcome, to protect, to promote and integrate migrants and refugees in the:
-BEC

-Parish

-Community

CLOSING PRAYER
Invite members of the BEC to pray spontaneously

CLOSING HYMN*
Listen Lord
Listen to your people Lord
Lowly though we may be
We’re lifting up hungry hearts
And a child’s trusting plea
You want us to live in love
You want us to share
Then help us love our sisters
Lord, and care, and care
Too long have we closed our eyes
Now we understand
No burden’s too much for man
When a friend gives him a hand
We want to be Christian, Lord
We want to be true
Then help us love our brothers
Lord, like you, like you
*Sing or recite the hymn meditatively, or select another appropriate hymn

 

 

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