Peace through Hospitality
Gracious God, lover and creator of all peoples, open our minds and hearts to our many sisters and brothers who are without family, homeor country because of disasters and violence all across our beautiful, battered earth. Help us to hear their cries, to listen to their stories, and to honor their dignity as your children as we open to them places of safety and welcome.
We come to you in the name of your Son, Jesus, who also was a refugee in need of safety and shelter.
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall do him/her no wrong.
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as a native among you, and you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you once were strangers in the land of Egypt.
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me.
I assure you, as often as you did it for the least among you, you did it for me. . . and what you did not do for one of the least among you,
you did not do for me.
Matthew 25:35-36, 45
Continue to love each other as brothers [and sisters], and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
There is an old Irish proverb that says, “In the shelter of each other, the people find a home.” The scriptures of both the Old and the New Testaments call us to be that “home” to those who come to us bereft of home and family, of country and culture.
Today, in 2018, there are some 65 million displaced people in our world, living both within and outside of their native countries. Of that number, over 21 million are refugees — those who have fled for their lives from cruelty and injustice, violence and loss in the most horrific of forms. There are children born and growing up in primitive refugee camps; and there are adults who risk their own lives, and often that of their children, in trying to give those little ones a future.
Peace through hospitality is possible in many ways:
- Peace through hospitality—by providing safety and welcome for those who struggle to survive for another day.
- Peace through hospitality—by giving hope to those who have lost hope of finding a safe home.
- Peace through hospitality—by the active work of direct service and by prayer and advocacy on their part, crying out against the injustice that would ignore and further endanger those in desperate need of safe shelter.
How can I share peace—God’s “shalom”— with migrants and refugees through my own hospitality of heart and home?
(Pause for a moment of silent reflection)
Response: Holy Spirit, hear us.
– Holy Spirit, awaken us to the knowledge and understanding of the suffering of migrants and refugees, we pray.
– Holy Spirit, give us the awareness to reverence the dignity of every one of these, your people, we pray.
– Holy Spirit, stir our hearts with compassion for migrants and refugees in their suffering, we pray.
– Holy Spirit, grant us the right judgment and courage to speak and act on behalf of migrants and refugees, we pray.
– Holy Spirit, fill us with wisdom in becoming a shelter for each other, we pray.
God of Peace, God of Welcome—we thank you for the rich and beautiful tapestry that you weave as you love into being all the peoples of our earth. Guide us in the way of your Son, Jesus, and in the power of your Spirit as we respond to your command to honor the strangers and angels among us. We offer ourselves as instruments of your welcome and peace by becoming shelter for migrants and refugees through our prayers, our words and our actions. We come to you trusting in your love, which is beyond our imagining, and in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Dominican Blessing: May God the Creator bless us, May God Redeemer heal us and May God, the Holy Spirit, fill us with peace.
Here are two websites that provide good basic sources and information for issues on migrants and refugees:
- Jesuit Refugee Services at www.jrsusa.org
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at www.usccb.org/offices/migration-and-refugee-services (also a resource on human trafficking)
Join us to Be Peace, Build Peace, and Preach Peace. You can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share this Novena on your Facebook page and forward it to at least 5 people. Please join us for the fourth day of this novena, when we will pray for Peace through Interfaith Dialogue.
Prepared by Judi Engel, OPA.