A Season of Peace: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants

Witness to God’s love for all people

Joseph Jadway Marasigan

Matthew 7:1–2 NIV

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 Reflection: As the world shrinks into a small global village, we are seeing significantly increased mobility of people as they seek better lives and opportunities in new countries. Their reasons for leaving are varying and complex: economic necessity, war, and persecution among them.

Catholic Cardinal Luis Tagle recalls his encounter with a young refugee from Syria who presented himself at the Greek border in Macedonia. Volunteers from Caritas Internationalis assisted the young refugee. “Where are your parents?” they asked him. He responded that they were still in Syria, but that they told him he must go. It was a heartbreaking moment for the volunteers who assisted the young boy. Will he ever see his parents again? Will they survive the catastrophe brought upon their lives by politics, most of which is beyond their knowledge and out of their control? Then came the boy’s turn to ask questions: “Are you also a Muslim? Why do you help me?” They told him: “No, we are Christians. Jesus teaches us to love people from all faith backgrounds.”

America is a nation of immigrants, but we have always been conflicted about this. We see our commitment to welcome foreigners and immigrants starkly juxtaposed with the government’s prerogative to preserve security and sovereignty. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. This chapter from Matthew’s Gospel challenges us to demonstrate compassion for those who come knocking on our doors. Deuteronomy commands us: “Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien.” (1:16)

Action: Take a minute today to call your representatives in Congress. Tell them that, as a person of faith, you oppose the forcible detention and separation of families. Ask them to support policies that protect and unite immigrant and refugee families.

Prayer: Loving God, help us recognize that no one is a stranger in your eyes. Grant us the courage to be bearers of hope and peace for those who come knocking on our doors. Cleanse us from our biases and remove the callouses from our eyes, that we may see you in the faces of those seeking refuge in our land. Amen.


Joseph Jadway ‘JJ’ Marasigan is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills, NY, and currently serves as a delegate to the New York City Presbytery. He is a member of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Activist Council. He writes primarily on the areas of social justice, agrarian reform, and human rights.


This year’s A Season of Peace Resources are designed to help Presbyterians explore different forms and lenses for peacemaking. From the personal level to global issues, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Through the 29 days of this year’s Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect upon:

  1. What does it mean to commit to Peace?
  2. Making peace by addressing root causes of poverty
  3. Making peace by disrupting systematic racism
  4. Making peace by ending violence
  5. Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants
  6. Partaking in peace in worship and at table this World Communion Sunday and through the Peace & Global Witness Offering


Each author represents a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 1, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 6.

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