Posted On 2016-08-01 In Covenant solidarity with Francis, Dilexit ecclesiam

Merciful God and Father of All, awaken us from the sleep of indifference …

GERMANY, From Maria Fischer

I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

I was naked and you gave me clothing,

I was sick and you took care of me,

I was in prison and you visited me (Mt 25:35-36).

These words of Jesus answer the question that arises so often in our minds and hearts: “Where is God?” Where is God, if evil is present in our world, if there are men and women who are hungry and thirsty, homeless, exiles and refugees? Where is God, when innocent persons die as a result of violence, terrorism and war? Where is God, when cruel diseases break the bonds of life and affection? Or when children are exploited and demeaned, and they too suffer from grave illness? Where is God, amid the anguish of those who doubt and are troubled in spirit? These are questions that humanly speaking have no answer. We can only look to Jesus and ask him. And Jesus’ answer is this: “God is in them”. Jesus is in them; he suffers in them and deeply identifies with each of them. He is so closely united to them as to form with them, as it were, “one body”.”

Those were the words of Pope Francis a few days ago during the World Youth Day in Cracow; perhaps some of his most challenging and courageous words when he answered Jesus’ question with a question: What did you do for me?

The German Bishops’ Conference has now taken up a lovely initiative as part of their work on the subject of refugees and migrants. It gives everyone – each individual Christian, all parishes, all shrines – an opportunity to answer this question with: “I prayed for the victims fleeing war and persecution.”

The German Bishops’ Conference has published a prayer card with a prayer of Pope Francis for the victims fleeing war and persecution, which he prayed on 16 April 2016 on the Greek island of Lesbos. In this prayer he said, among other things, “Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals, to see that those who come to our shores are our brothers and sisters.” The text is illustrated with a photo of an empty wooden boat near discarded life jackets on the seashore.

A prayer card with this prayer in all shrines of the world, in all languages… It could make a difference.


Original: German. Translation: Mary Cole, Manchester, UK

1 Responses

  1. Sarah-Leah Pimentel says:

    This is the prayer…
    Merciful God,
    we pray to you for all the men, women and children
    who have died after leaving their homelands in search of a better life.
    Though many of their graves bear no name,
    to you each one is known, loved and cherished.
    May we never forget them, but honour their sacrifice
    with deeds more than words.

    We entrust to you all those who have made this journey,
    enduring fear, uncertainty and humiliation,
    in order to reach a place of safety and hope.
    Just as you never abandoned your Son
    as he was brought to a safe place by Mary and Joseph,
    so now be close to these, your sons and daughters,
    through our tenderness and protection.
    In caring for them may we seek a world
    where none are forced to leave their home
    and where all can live in freedom, dignity and peace.

    Merciful God and Father of all,
    wake us from the slumber of indifference,
    open our eyes to their suffering,
    and free us from the insensitivity
    born of worldly comfort and self-centredness.
    Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals,
    to see that those who come to our shores are our brothers and sisters.
    May we share with them the blessings we have received from your hand,
    and recognize that together, as one human family,
    we are all migrants, journeying in hope to you, our true home,
    where every tear will be wiped away,
    where we will be at peace and safe in your embrace.

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