Sunday, 2 July 2017

The stranger

The first reading of the day, wherein a lady not only offers hospitality to the prophet Elisha but eventually makes room for him in her house, stands in stark contrast to the situation in the West today.  In the light of the immigration crisis there is a sizeable population in the 'developed countries' who do not want 'foreigners' in the land, except when they bring in revenue.  If they arrive as dependents, then they are not welcome!

Take for instance, Australia.  It takes in approximately 13,000 immigrants every year.  Given the size of the country and its terrain, even if that number were tripled it would still be able to accommodate them all. But it would not!  Well even I am not for immigration.  But for different reasons.  Why should a person be forced to move out of his own place, his home, his land?  Only wanderers love roaming around.  For most, we human beings like to get back home at the end of the day... even if that day is stretched to months or years.  So rather than 'rehabilitate', help make their homes and countries a safe place where they can continue to live.  They may not have the luxury and the comfort of another nation, but what greater place on earth than 'home'.

While hosting nations and citizens have genuine concerns about those coming into their country.  Some of them are worth discussing and do cause inconvenience to all involved.  However, most of the reasons cited by those against 'non-natives' are based on undue fear and heightened selfishness of a few.  The gospel of the day is then a challenge to each one of us to move out of ourselves, to risk, to be generous and see the world as more and beyond oneself.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple--amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward. 

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