Tuesday of the First Week

Readings

IS 11:1-10

LK 10:21-24

Reflection

Jesus was born a refugee. Mary and Joseph fled towards Egypt to escape the persecution of corrupt King Herod. While the journey was uncertain, they made a sacrifice in order to protect their child from harm. This sacrifice— abandoning one’s home and any shred of familiarity or comfort in hopes of finding safety and security— is an everyday reality for the thousands of asylum seekers who cross the U.S.-Mexico border every year.

I am now going on four months of working as a Jesuit Volunteer at Casa Alitas; a migrant shelter in southern Arizona. My work revolves around the everyday logistics of running a shelter, but more importantly the intentional practice of accompaniment. Walking with guests through triumphs and tragedies has left me in awe of seemingly insurmountable injustice, and simultaneously in awe of the resilience of the human spirit.

Awe at the many personal stories of malpractice and dehumanization at the hands of ICE.  

Awe at the woman, pregnant and with her toddler in tow, who crossed the desert to escape abuse. 

Awe when celebrating with tacos after a guest received his work permit.

Awe when witnessing the reunion of a mother and her son after a six-month separation.

“Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” I am called to follow Jesus’s example: love in action. In other words, to let my faith guide my work to create a more just, equitable world. 

The metaphors throughout this passage describe how the birth of Jesus proclaimed a new vision for the world; one that centers rather than marginalizes the poor— “the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.” The God of Justice became incarnate to walk with the poor and dismantle the systems that oppress them.

Small wonder that the King of Kings was born a refugee. 

Ally Ramon, ‘20
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Tucson, Arizona