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‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’

Dear Editor,

Soon we will gather at churches, around the TV, and at community programs to hear again the wonderful story of the first Christmas, when Jesus was born at Bethlehem. The story usually ends with shepherds and wisemen and barnyard animals gathering around the Holy Family in praise and thanksgiving.

But if we read on further in the story we read that the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt as King Herod was out to kill all the young boys in the area. Fortunately, the family was able to cross the border to safety. So Jesus began his life here on earth as a refugee.

The escape of Jesus to a safer place continues today. In the Holy Scriptures Jesus identifies himself with refugees and immigrants (“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” – Matthew 25.) So we are called to see Jesus in those who come to us on our southern border with many young refugees fleeing those who want to kill them. Now we have the opportunity to help keep safe those with whom Jesus has identified himself.

As we gather as families this Christmas time, we can rejoice that a number of newcomers to the United States will be able to celebrate without needing to worry that their dad or mom will be yanked from this celebration time to be deported. President Obama’s recent action is a wonderful Christmas gift to these families.

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