“You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.”
In the last couple of years, my ministry has grown to include refugees. I am certain of my duty as a Christian to welcome and befriend them. This is made abundantly clear in this reading from Exodus. So, it saddens me, when out of fear or prejudice, people forget this duty, and the fact that many who came to our country were similarly displaced. Refugees are those whose home has become inhospitable. And we must understand, as the poet Warsan Shire writes, “No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”
Jesus says, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Throughout the Gospel, Jesus was offering hospitality to tax collectors, sinners, foreigners and strangers. I am increasingly convinced that one of our greatest calls in these days is to risk and rejoice in just this kind of radical hospitality.
—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ, is the Director of Campus Ministry at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.