‘Forced like Jesus Christ to flee’
The Vatican has invited the faithful to view migrants as people who have been “displaced like Jesus,” in a tweet on Sunday.
The Vatican’s office for Migrants and Refugees tweeted:
“One year ends, a new one begins, let’s walk again the path made with our brothers and sisters #DisplacedlikeJesus.”
The message cited Pope Francis as saying:
“Building the Kingdom of God is a commitment that all Christians share.”
“It is necessary that we learn to collaborate.”
In a video message in the tweet, Pope Francis explains that he had chosen the theme “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee” for the 2020 World Day of Migrants and Refugees message to remind people Jesus experienced as a child “displaced and a refugee.”
One year ends, a new one begins, let’s walk again the path made with our brothers and sisters #DisplacedlikeJesus
“Building the Kingdom of God is a commitment that all Christians share, and (…) it is necessary that we learn to collaborate.” Pope Francis https://t.co/tIGvVLG3uW
— Migrants & Refugees (@M_RSection) January 3, 2021
The Pope’s 2020 message declared that displaced people is “one of the challenges of our contemporary world,” especially because of “situations of conflict and humanitarian emergencies, aggravated by climate change.”
“I have decided to devote this Message to the drama of internally displaced persons, and often unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated,” the pontiff noted.
The Pope added that it “has relegated to the bottom of national political agendas those urgent international efforts essential to saving lives.”
Francis a 1952 text by Pope Pius XII, “the child Jesus experienced with his parents the tragic fate of the displaced and refugees,” adding it is “marked by fear, uncertainty, and unease.”
“Unfortunately, in our own times, millions of families can identify with this sad reality.”
“Almost every day, the television and papers carry news of refugees fleeing from hunger, war, and other grave dangers, in search of security and a dignified life for themselves and for their families,” Francis said.
“In each of these people, forced to flee to safety, Jesus is present as he was at the time of Herod,” he continued.
“In the faces of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, strangers, and prisoners, we are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us to help.”
“If we can recognize him in those faces, we will be the ones to thank him for having been able to meet, love, and serve him in them,” he said.
The Vatican emphasized weeks ago that the coronavirus pandemic mustn’t draw people’s attention away from migrants.
“The pandemic must not make us forget other dramatic situations, such as violence and abuses against migrants,” said Father Fabio Baggio.
Father Baggio added that “a whole series of dramas that existed before the pandemic are still there, and some are even aggravated. Among these, there was also the tragedy of displaced persons, refugees, migrants who were raped or whose rights have been violated.”
“We are all in the same boat, and no one can be left behind,” the Vatican official said.
“Here, we are all saved together.”