Faith and promise

    March 19, 2024

    In today’s Mass readings, we encounter the profound connection between faith and promise, echoed in the stories of David, Abraham and Joseph. David receives a promise from God of an enduring dynasty, rooted not in his own merit but in God’s faithfulness. Similarly, Abraham’s righteousness is attributed to his unwavering faith in God’s promises, despite seemingly insurmountable odds. And finally, Joseph trusts in the word of the Lord that the son Mary will bear shall be the one to save his people from their sins. Time and time again, throughout scripture and history, God promises to be faithful to those who seek and trust God amid trials and uncertainty.

    As I reflect upon these readings, my thoughts turn to our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. Migrants and refugees, like Abraham, frequently find themselves in situations where hope seems distant and promises of safety and security feel out of reach. They often face immense challenges — including persecution, violence, and displacement — as they seek a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

    Yet, like Abraham, David and Joseph, migrants and refugees cling to faith in the midst of uncertainty. They believe in the possibility of a brighter tomorrow, trusting in God’s promises of justice, mercy and deliverance. Their journey is marked by courage, resilience and unwavering hope, as they navigate treacherous paths and confusing immigration systems in search of refuge.

    As we reflect on these readings during the season of Lent, we are called to stand in solidarity with migrants and refugees, recognizing their inherent dignity and worth as children of God. We are reminded that our faith calls us to welcome the stranger, offer compassion and hospitality to those in need, and advocate for policies and practices that uphold the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of their immigration status.

    This Lenten season challenges us all to reflect upon and confront our own biases and prejudices, and to examine how we can better respond to the needs of migrants and refugees in our parishes and communities. It calls us to deepen our commitment to building a world where all people can live with dignity, freedom, and hope. And most of all, it beckons us to live into the hope of a human community where God’s enduring promises of love and justice are realized — as we are brothers and sisters all.

    Anna Gallagher is Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).

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