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 8 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 7 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

When Sister Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay was considering joining the Felician Sisters, she prayed that she wouldn’t have to give up her passion for dance. Here, she talks about how she’s changed through her formation with the sisters: how she’s come to let her natural curls fly free and how her dance
America FilmsSeptember 27, 2019
Sister Celine, a teacher, and Sister Marie Estelle, a nurse, explain what drew them to join a branch of the Carmelite order that began in Mexico—and what it’s like to go out (even just to the gas station) in their traditional habit.
America FilmsSeptember 27, 2019
Sr. Alison McCrary, a community lawyer in New Orleans who corresponds with inmates on death row, explains how her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience help her fully serve others in a world that values money, sex and power.
America FilmsSeptember 27, 2019
Sr. Monica Nobl, a Peruvian archaeologist, and Sr. María José Correa, a world-class pole-vaulter representing Chile, never anticipated becoming nuns until they met the Sisters of the Servants of the Plan of God, a new order of women religious who give their lives to evangelization, service and
America FilmsSeptember 27, 2019