be close to these

Flight into EgyptEdwin Long, 1883

Merciful God,
   we pray to you for all the men, women and children
   who have died after leaving their homelands in search of a better life.
Though many of their graves bear no name,
   to you each one is known, loved and cherished.
May we never forget them,
   but honour their sacrifice with deeds more than words.
We entrust to you all those who have made this journey,
   enduring fear, uncertainty and humiliation,
   in order to reach a place of safety and hope.
Just as you never abandoned your Son
   as he was brought to a safe place by Mary and Joseph,
   so now be close to these, your sons and daughters,
   through our tenderness and protection.
In caring for them may we seek a world
   where none are forced to leave their home
   and where all can live in freedom, dignity and peace.
Merciful God and Father of all,
   wake us from the slumber of indifference,
   open our eyes to their suffering,
   and free us from the insensitivity
   born of worldly comfort and self-centredness.
Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals,
   to see that those who come to our shores
   are our brothers and sisters.
May we share with them
   the blessings we have received from your hand,
   and recognize that together, as one human family,
   we are all migrants, journeying in hope to you,
   our true home,
   where every tear will be wiped away,
   where we will be at peace and safe in your embrace.

Pope Francis, given at Lesbos April 16, 2016


When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route,
for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said.
“Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:
“I called my Son out of Egypt.”

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