On 22 September at 8.30 pm in Singapore, members of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Singapore together with 30 plus invitees spent some time via Zoom to pray and reflect on Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Fr Francis Lim SJ gave the short reflection. A Good Shepherd Sister based in New Delhi prayed part of the intercessory prayers.
Annually, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated on the last Sunday of September. The theme for this year is “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees – ‘Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.’ (Heb 13:14)”
Fr Francis reflected on our status as a pilgrim people journeying towards our final homeland. A photo of St Joseph’s Cathedral in Kuching was shared. The design of this building is in the shape of a tent. The architectural of the church was revolutionary when this church was completed in 1969, right after the liturgical change of Vatican II. The altar is in the centre surrounded by the people of God worshipping around it.
The tent is the symbol of the pilgrim people of God in their journey of faith. Migrants, refugees and other displaced people bear the reality of life in literally, a hard journey towards a better homeland. In the meanwhile, the local living in the modern city state experience a spiritual journey towards a heavenly homeland. Nonetheless, people living in comfort can accompany migrants and refugees in prayer, and at the same time, create awareness of their situation.
Kirsten who participated wrote after the prayer session, “Heart-warming to see the group make time on a weeknight to pause and pray together for the migrants, refugees, and forcibly displaced persons — they are not alone.”
Aside from this, a video done by a refugee student was also shown and a song entitled “We Are Pilgrims on a Journey” with lyrics and music by Richard Gillard was also played for reflection. It is to highlight that all of us, whether itinerants or comfortably placed, are pilgrims in different ways.
This article was first published in The JCAP blog. (edited)