Feast Of Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph 2013 + Pope Francis Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 2014

Scripture readings for Mass are here.

Various reflections on the readings from St Louis University Centre for Liturgy here.

Joseph's Dream In The Stable Rembrandt. Source
Rest On The Flight Into Egypt.

Edwin Longs depiction of The Flight of The Holy Family into Egypt. Source

Today's a time to reflect on the struggles and strength of refugees and an opportunity to focus our support for millions of people who have been displaced by war, disasters, and humanitarian crisis. 

Pope's Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

 Pope Francis’ message was released in September 2013 in advance of the World Day of Migrants and Refugee on January 19th 2014, but it's a good opportunity to revisit it today and to reflect and re examine my attitude and actions towards exiles and strangers in my midst.
Here's an extract....

"Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more. The sheer number of people migrating from one continent to another, or shifting places within their own countries and geographical areas, is striking.

Contemporary movements of migration represent the largest movement of individuals, if not of peoples, in history. As the Church accompanies migrants and refugees on their journey, she seeks to understand the causes of migration, but she also works to overcome its negative effects, and to maximize its positive influence on the communities of origin, transit and destination.

While encouraging the development of a better world, we cannot remain silent about the scandal of poverty in its various forms. Violence, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, restrictive approaches to fundamental freedoms, whether of individuals or of groups: these are some of the chief elements of poverty which need to be overcome. Often these are precisely the elements which mark migratory movements, thus linking migration to poverty. 

Fleeing from situations of extreme poverty or persecution in the hope of a better future, or simply to save their own lives, millions of persons choose to migrate. Despite their hopes and expectations, they often encounter mistrust, rejection and exclusion, to say nothing of tragedies and disasters which offend their human dignity."

Click here to read the full English translation of Pope Francis message

UNHCR needs help to provide refugees with protection, shelter, food, and urgently needed assistance.  https://www.unrefugees.org.au/donate/...

On November 30, 2011, Leo O'Donovan, SJ, President Emeritus of Georgetown University, came to Boston College to give a lecture and slideshow reflecting on images in Western art of the Holy Family fleeing the murderous King Herod's oppression and interspersing images of the refugees of today.

 NYC-based photographer Brian Sokol has been working on a project supported by the UN Refugee Agency titled "The Most Important Thing." It consists of portraits of refugees in which the subjects pose with the one thing they couldn't let go of when running away from home." 
You can find the Sudan series here and the Syria series here.

 You can also follow along with Sokol’s work through his website and through Instagram.
  • Click here to read an article on the work done for refugees by the UK Red Cross with links to how to help.
….. ….

The Gospel reading also features angels again; untiringly flitting about doing the Lord's work, so here's John O'Donohue's beautiful A Blessing of The Angels.

A Blessing of Angels

May the Angels in their beauty bless you.
May they turn toward you streams of blessing.

May the Angel of Awakening stir your heart
To come alive to the eternal within you,
To all the invitations that quietly surround you.

May the Angel of Healing turn your wounds
Into sources of refreshment.

Image source

May the Angel of the Imagination enable you
To stand on the true thresholds,
At ease with your ambivalence
And drawn in new direction
Through the glow of your contradictions.

May the Angel of Compassion open your eyes
To the unseen suffering around you.

One of Michael Leunig's angels

May the Angel of Wildness disturb the places
Where your life is domesticated and safe,
Take you to the territories of true otherness

Where all that is awkward in you
Can fall into its own rhythm.

May the Angel of Eros introduce you
To the beauty of your senses
To celebrate your inheritance
As a temple of the holy spirit.

May the Angel of Justice disturb you
To take the side of the poor and the wronged.

May the Angel of Encouragement confirm you
In worth and self-respect,
That you may live with the dignity
That presides in your soul.

May the Angel of Death arrive only
When your life is complete
And you have brought every given gift
To the threshold where its infinity can shine.

May all the Angels be your sheltering
And joyful guardians.

John O'Donohue
Angel 013
Angel 013 (Photo credit: Juliett-Foxtrott)
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