Each year, the church around the world joins with the Pope to mark the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. This year's celebration is being held on Sunday 29th September.
The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers. Pope Francis has chosen this year's theme to be: "It is not just about migrants".
Pope Francis's message stresses that migrants and refugees have become 'emblems of exclusion', highlighting wider societal issues that go the very core of how we interact with one another. He encourages us to think of our own actions and if we are ensuring that no one is allowed to remain excluded in our society; those who are new arrivals or who have been forced to flee, as well as those who are marginalised in their own countries.
Pope Francis casts a light onto the many ways migrants and refugees can help us see how we are living in response to the good news preached by Jesus in the Gospels. Are we bound by fear or do we take heed of Jesus' encouragement not be afraid? Do we put ourselves first or remember Christ's message that the first will be last? Do we see migrants and refugees as strangers or do we look upon them as our neighbours? These are just a few of the points of reflection that Pope Francis gives to us in his message.
Pope Francis will be celebrating a Mass in St Peter's Square on Sunday 29th September and many will be marking the day around the world.
"In a word, it is not only the cause of migrants that is at stake; it is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family." -Pope Francis
Prayer and Video Resources for the day at: www.jrsuk.net/world-day-of-migrants-and-refugees/
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