Pope Francis lamented ongoing tragedies of human history, which remind us how far we have yet to go along the path toward “the dwelling place of God with humanity.”
“In the light of what we have learned in the tribulations of recent times, we are called to renew our commitment to building a future that conforms ever more fully to God’s plan of a world in which everyone can live in peace and dignity.”
Concretely, said Pope Francis, all inequality and discrimination must be cast aside from society, and “no one must be excluded.”
“God’s plan is essentially inclusive and gives priority to those living on the existential peripheries. Among them are many migrants and refugees, displaced persons, and victims of trafficking.”
The Pope added that Christians must build the Kingdom of God “with” those displaced from their homes”
“The inclusion of the most vulnerable is the necessary condition for full citizenship in God’s Kingdom,” he said.
The Pope went on to say that building the future with migrants and refugees involves recognizing their value and potential in their new countries of residence.
As the prophet Isaiah foresaw in a vision, foreigners should not be considered “invaders or destroyers”, but rather as “willing laborers” to better society.
Pope Francis offered the example of history to show that migrants and refugees offer a valuable source of social and economic growth to their adopted nations.
“Their work, their youth, their enthusiasm and their willingness to sacrifice enrich the communities that receive them. Yet this contribution could be all the greater were it optimized and supported by carefully developed programs and initiatives. Enormous potential exists, ready to be harnessed, if only it is given a chance.”
While presenting an immense challenge, migrants can also help societies understand the world better and contribute to spiritual growth, said the Pope.
Catholic migrants, he added, “can energize the ecclesial life of the communities that welcome them.”
“Sharing different expressions of faith and devotions offers us a privileged opportunity for experiencing more fully the catholicity of the People of God,” he said.