“Building the future with migrants and refugees” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (GMMR) which is celebrated on Sunday 25 September 2022. The starting point indicated by Holy Father he therefore urges us not to face migrations with an emergency look but with a long lasting lookwhich involves all the people who suffer this phenomenon, both the migrants themselves and the citizens of the host countries.
When it comes to migratory movements, however, there is a tendency to have a utilitarian approachwhich links the presence of foreign people only to the need for manpower or new generations to fill thedemographic winter. A materialistic analysis, devoid of that human and at the same time transcendent gaze, which ignores the deeper elements ofhuman anthropologyas the familythe roots ei values and spiritual principles of people.
Not by chance in Pope Francis’ massage for this Day of Migrants and Refugees there is also talk of a stimulus for the spiritual aspirations of the welcoming societies. According to the Pontiff “the presence of migrants and refugees represents a great challenge but also an opportunity for cultural and spiritual growth for all ”. This is because we can mature in humanity and together build a greater “we”. “We also discover the richness contained in religions and spiritualities unknown to us – continues Francis -, and this stimulates us to deepen our own convictions”. In short, the materialistic numbness of the West can be aroused by those who are bearers of very strong identities.
The vitality of people looking for a new house to build on the rock can reopen the eyes of the many who dedicate their lives to the continuous satisfaction of their desires.. The model of us that meets and contaminates that of a hypertrophic self that has annihilated many souls. Pope Francis insists that “Building the future with migrants and refugees also means recognizing and valuing what each of them can bring to construction process“. The Pope puts this approach to the migratory phenomenon in a prophetic vision of Isaiah, in which foreigners do not figure as invaders and destroyers, but as willing workers who rebuild the walls of the new Jerusalem, the Jerusalem open to all peoples.
The Pope then recalls that in the same prophecy the arrival of foreigners is presented as source of enrichment. “Indeed, history teaches us that the contribution of migrants and refugees has been fundamental for the social and economic growth of our societies. And it is also today ”writes Francis again. The Pope underlines that their work, their capacity for sacrifice, their youth and their enthusiasm enrich the communities that welcome them. But this contribution could be much greater if valued and supported through targeted programs. It is a huge potentialready to express himself, if only he is offered the chance.
World Refugee and Migrant Day therefore reminds us that the defense of life and the promotion of human brotherhood they also pass through the protection of people forced to emigrate from their homeland to seek a better future or more simply to save their lives and that of their loved ones. At the same time we must never forget that the universal Church has always been at the forefront of guaranteeing the right to grow and prosper in one’s native land. The indispensable is part of this context commitment to the peace and prosperity of all peoples. In this regard, it should be remembered that the wars in the Middle East cause amass emigration of Christians which jeopardizes the stability of that region of the world.
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