The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges, and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers. Every year the WDMR falls on the last Sunday of Septembe.
As the title for his annual message, the Holy Father has chosen “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees”- To underline that we are all called together to build a future that responds to God’s plan without excluding anyone. “Building with” means above all recognizing and promoting the contribution of migrants and refugees in this work of construction, because only in this way we can build a world that ensures the conditions for integral human development for all.
We are all travellers on this earth and we are all called to seek our true homeland: the Kingdom of God. This kingdom is already within us, but its full realization will only be seen at the return of the Lord in glory (Hebrews 13:14).
There are 240 million displaced people in the world. Of these, 68.5 million are forcibly displaced, 40 million are internally displaced, 25.4 million are refugees, 3.1 million are asylum seekers and 10 million are stateless.
Pope Francis is asking us to consider: What decisions must be made right away in order to build here and now a better and more inclusive future for everyone?
Our Prayer for the World Day of Migrants and refugees:
Lord, make us bearers of hope;
so that where there is darkness, your light will reign, and where there is resignation, confidence in the future may be reborn.
Lord, make us instruments of your justice;
so that where there is exclusion, companionship may flourish, and where there is greed, sharing may flourish.
Lord, teach us how beautiful it is to live as brothers and sisters.