Welcome the stranger without fear!
FREE Catholic Classes
At a special Mass Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that while it is normal to be afraid of the unknown, we can't let this direct how we respond to newcomers in our midst, who should be treated with respect and generosity.
Pope Francis with refugees.
Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - It's not easy to put ourselves in another person's shoes, especially those very different from us, and this can cause us to have doubts and fears, Francis said Jan. 14.
"These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully comprehensible from a human point of view. Having doubts and fears is not a sin."
Pope Francis gave this homily at a special Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the 104th celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The theme for this year was: "Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees."
Present at the Mass were immigrants and refugees from around the world who are now part of the Diocese of Rome.
In his homily, Francis quoted a line from his message for the day, published Aug. 21: "Every stranger who knocks on our door is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ, who identifies himself with the foreigner who has been accepted or rejected in every age (cf. Mt 25:35-43)."
He emphasized that in welcoming the migrant or refugee, we have an opportunity to welcome Jesus.
The communities that receive migrants and refugees aren't the only ones with fears and doubts. Migrants and refugees themselves, who have just arrived in a new place, also have fears, such as the fear "of confrontation, judgment, discrimination and failure," the Pope said.
Francis explained how in the Gospel reading for the day, Jesus calls his disciples to "Come, and see," and how today this invitation is addressed to all of us.
"It is an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her. It is an invitation which offers the opportunity to draw near to the other and see where and how he or she lives."
Entrusting the world's migrants and refugees to the care of Mary, Most Holy, the Pope concluded by asking her intercession, that "responding to the supreme commandment of charity and love of neighbor, may we all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves."
Following the Mass, Pope Francis led the usual Sunday Angelus from a window in the Casa Santa Marta for pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.
Following the prayer, he announced that "for pastoral reasons," the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be moved from Jan. 14, as established by Pope St. Pius X in 1914, to the second Sunday of September. Therefore, the next celebration of the day will take place Sept. 8, 2019, he said.
In his Angelus message the Pope also spoke about the importance of not leaving our knowledge of Jesus to "hearsay," but how we need to really encounter him "in prayer, in meditation on the Word of God and in the frequenting of the Sacraments."
"Only a personal encounter with Jesus generates a journey of faith and discipleship," he said.
"We could have many experiences, accomplish many things, establish relationships with many people, but only the appointment with Jesus, at that hour that God knows, can give full meaning to our lives and make our projects and initiatives fruitful."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
by Catholic Online
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, February 22nd, 2019
- Vermont bishop: Abortion bill tests limits of human brokenness
- Tagle: Confront the 'stench of filth' caused by abuse
- Daily Readings for Saturday, February 23, 2019
- St. Polycarp: Saint of the Day for Saturday, February 23, 2019
- Making a Difference: U.S. bishops confront racism and call us to ...
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 24th, 2019 HD Video
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, February 21st, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 22nd, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.