What does the Bible say about welcoming refugees and migrants?

What does the Bible say about welcoming refugees and migrants?

What does the Bible say about helping refugees, migrants and foreigners? In this video, James Martin, S.J., explains the Biblical basis for welcoming the stranger.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Daniel Shazzar
2 years 4 months ago

What does the Bible say about righty handling the word of truth? (2 Tim 2:15). A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text. Solomon is not directing his people in the 1 Kings 8 passage quoted here. Rather, in dedicating the Temple, Solomon petitions God in prayer to welcome the foreigners that don't belong to Israel when they come to inquire. Moreover, we are not to act to merit entrance into heaven as some sort of litmus test. In Matthew 25 (I was a stranger......) Jesus is speaking of and to the goats prospectively with the final judgment in view - those on his left who have not placed their trust in him for his finished work (John 19:30) on the cross. It is a descriptive text, not prescriptive. Instead, we must refer to John 3:36 and 5:24 for the true litmus test for assurance of eternal life in heaven.

That said, no doubt we are to love our neighbors - including strangers as Jesus commands. We must remember though our motivation to love is because He first loved us. God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Thomas Severin
2 years 3 months ago

You may argue as to whether or not Matthew 25 is descriptive or prescriptive but there is no question that the Church historically has made the message prescriptive by advocating and teaching the corporal works of mercy.
Certainly Jesus' greatest command is that we love one another and ,indeed, this should be a natural response to God loving us first. When we love in very practical, human terms, we become perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Sin is essentially a refusal to make Jesus' example and command, to love one another, something real in our daily, ordinary lives.
We demonstrate our genuine love for God primarily through authentic love for our neighbor.

Advertisement

The latest from america

In 2018, America's Antonio De Loera-Brust travelled to the Colombia - Venezuela border to report on what the Jesuit Refugee Service is doing to aid the suffering refugees in the crisis-stricken region.
America FilmsMay 31, 2019
What does the process of seeking asylum look like? Why are people willing to risk their lives and what are they leaving behind?
America FilmsMay 24, 2019
In this episode of Sunday to Sunday, we pay tribute the Rev. James V. Matthew's great witness as a preacher and his devotion to the Oakland community.
America FilmsMay 24, 2019
Join producer Colleen Dulle and Tina Bovermann of L’Arche USA for a conversation about Mr. Vanier’s life and legacy.
America FilmsMay 09, 2019