During Advent and through the Christmas season we journey with Mary and Joseph, and then with the Holy Family – on the road, looking for a home, a safe space, a Divine Compassion journey… in and for our world! I was blessed this Advent to share a similar journey with women, children and
families at our Mexican border! Celebrating the feast of the wise men coming to the stable, I was struck by the questions often asked, “What did the wise women bring to Mary and Jesus in Bethlehem?” The answers given, would have matched the gifts brought by generous volunteers who travel to our
Mexican border to welcome refugees seeking asylum in the United States, refugees who pass through border control and ICE questioning and inspections, and are left on the doorsteps of Welcome Centers created for them by so many religious groups throughout our nation.
Our own Divine Compassion charism and mission, along with invitations from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious beckon us, compel us – to respond with our hearts and with action to welcome the stranger, our sisters and brothers – into our homes and communities!!
I have been blessed to be a mentor in the LCWR Leadership Pathways online program for new leaders in religious congregations. After two years of sharing our religious life journey on line, we felt a deep desire to meet each other in person, and journey together to the Mexican border,
to volunteer with migrants and refugees seeking asylum here.
Arrangements happened quickly through LCWR connections bringing together 9 religious sisters from 7 different congregations across the US. We lived and worked together in Tucson, just north of Nogales Mexico/Arizona, a city divided by a US border fence, with a US border crossing where migrants
and asylum seekers are searched, questioned, AND refused or allowed entrance into Arizona by ICE or border control.
QUESTIONS FOR PONDERING:
How can I welcome the stranger in my life? In my community?
What are the walls I build in my life, that keep me safe, but others out?
With whom can I pray and come together, to respond with an open heart in Divine Compassion, for those fleeing violence and poverty in our cities, nations and world today??