National Migration Week—Mission in Action
Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Preach the kingdom of God, heal those who are suffering, drive out demons and pray—those were the essential elements of Jesus’ mission in the first century and they remain the core of the Church’s mission today.
Here in the USA, the Catholic Church is in the middle of celebrating National Migration Week (January 7-13). This past Sunday night I was at a packed Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago for a special Mass to kick off this week of prayer and action. In his homily for the Epiphany of the Lord, Cardinal Blase Cupich (admittedly borrowing heavily from Pope Francis) used the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem as a metaphor to remind us of the gifts that immigrants have long brought to our country.
Cardinal Cupich urged us to heal the divisions that have arisen over immigration and efforts to reform our broken system and to drive out the demons of fear, ignorance and prejudice that make immigrants seem like “the other” rather than our brothers and sisters. We prayed—in 7 or 8 languages—for all the people whose lives have been touched by the reality of migration, not only here but throughout the world.
The Church’s mission is Jesus’ mission. The context may be different, but the essential elements will always be the same. We pray to be faithful to that mission.—JC