How can we be givers of life?


In my work at the Ignatian Solidarity Network, I have the opportunity to join passionate colleagues from across the country for regular “coalition calls” to discuss the ways that the faith-based community can advocate for humane migration and refugee policies.

As executive orders were announced by the new administration this winter, the mood during these calls was one of disheartenment and desolation, particularly in light of our new president’s history of taking direct aim at existing regulations designed to protect the dignity of immigrants and refugees who are most vulnerable.

Cleveland Immigration Walk for Justice-2016

Call participants began to share stories of immigrants and refugees already being directly impacted by the changing policies: immigrant families choosing not to attend church services or send their children to school out of fear of deportation; refugees stopped at international airports hours before flights to the U.S. and turned away; and undocumented young people detained amid questionable circumstances despite having Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status.

While each situation had its unique characteristics, they all shared a common theme — a sense of great loss, as if hope had died for these immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers.

In the weeks that have followed, the sense of desolation is still a reality — it cannot be avoided. However, among the coalition members there is also a sense of hope.

It is grounded in a belief that in the midst of challenging realities that face immigrant and refugee communities, there are small steps that we can take as advocates, as companions — that we can be givers of life.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives Lazarus “life” when he asks him to come out from the darkness of the tomb.  Through this miracle we experience the hope that Jesus can provide for our world, even amid great desolation. Our coalition partners offer that same hope, showing that there are small glimmers of “life” and hope we can provide to brothers and sisters who migrate.

Reflection questions:

  • What are the experiences of migrants and refugees in your community?
  • How can you be a giver of “life” and “hope” to them?

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published as part of the Ignatian Solidarity Network Rise Up: A Lenten Call to Solidarity series.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *