Tuesday of the 4th week of Lent, 13th March

Lenten Journeys

Tuesday of the 4th week of Lent, 13th March

The hostility towards those seeking asylum leaves them lost in a world of confusion

13 March 2018

Tuesday of the 4th week of Lent, 13th March

From Today’s Daily Mass Readings:

God is for us a refuge and strength, a helper close at hand, in time of distress
Psalm 45

As we journey through Lent, we introduce you to some of the refugees JRS accompanies. Where in their stories do we sense the closeness of the Lord?

Hassan-Ali’s Story

For many of those who we accompany at JRS UK, being labelled an asylum seeker can feel like a burden. A barrier that prevents someone looking beyond and seeing who they are as an individual. For Hassan-Ali, he feels that asylum seekers and refugees are being blamed for issues that are beyond their control. “The government and media try to blame the economic problems on refugees and asylum seekers”.

When you find yourself in such hardship, having already experienced a traumatic past, this hostility can have a terrible effect on someone’s welfare. Those seeking asylum often feel that they are lost in a world of confusion with little promise of a brighter future: “the life outside is not very good and promising for the refugees and asylum seekers.

Join us tomorrow where we will rejoin Hassan-Ali on his journey.
Hassan-Ali’s story is real, however we have changed his name to protect his privacy.


Today we invite you to spend some time with the readings of the day and join Sr. Lynne FCJ in a space of prayerful reflection:

“Jesus said to the man ‘Do you want to be well?’ The sick man answered ‘I have no one to help me into the pool ’… Jesus said ‘Rise! Pick up your mat and walk.’”
John 5:1-3,5-16

As we focus this week on the plight of destitute people, this scripture passage speaks to us of God’s response to us in our helplessness. If we did not already know the story so well, we may expect that Jesus would lift the man and help him into the pool. Instead Jesus listens deeply to his need and speaks the words which are enabling. Jesus invites the man to recognise his own capacity and to rise up. The man is filled with his God-given strength and is freed from his infirmity and gives praise to God.

So often we are confronted with situations of poverty, and even destitution, where we are in a position of power. We who have resources, can make a choice (and often a judgement) about who we ‘help’ and how we do it. Jesus invites us to think differently, to enter into a more mutual dynamic with the people we meet who are in need, and to act in a way that is empowering and enables them to ‘rise up’.

Today let us consider: How are my actions empowering for those most in need?

Sr. Lynne FCJ

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JRS UK are grateful to Hassan-Ali for sharing his story with us. Please do not reproduce without permission.
Image credit: Street image: Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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