"Nations shall walk by your light..." Isaiah60
"The mystery was made known that the gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body in the promise." Luke 10.
At the dawn of a new year the Epiphany story brings profound challenge. After the visit of the Magi the Holy Family became immigrants in Egypt. They were forced to flee the violence of Herod and of the Jewish leaders, all of whom for political reasons wanted Jesus dead. Our world today is flooded with immigrants, displaced men, women and children, who because of wars, religious oppression, or economic chaos must move elsewhere to survive.
With good reason the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has designated January 3-10 as National Migration Week with the theme, "Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice." This year changes in immigration law will be introduced in Congress. We all know that the struggle for more realistic and humane law will be uphill and contentious.
Our prayerful reflection on Epiphany and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt might recall our own ancestral stories, reminding us of what brought them to this country. We might connect our family struggles to those who have have come to our country to seek sanctuary from repressive regimes or to be better able to support their families. We might open ourselves to learn more about what causes migration. We might resolve to understand better the multiple viewpoints on migration either as violation of law or as a potential good.
Lord Jesus, you who knew what it was to flee to an alien land, help us to walk in the shoes of our brothers and sisters today. Give us strength to put this issue in the context of the Gospel and to seek truth wherever it may take us.
We pray for legislators to deal with this as a values issue not simply an issue of law.
Lord Jesus, open our eyes and ears and hearts to our brothers and sisters. Amen.