Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Migrants, Immigrants, Sojourners

“The New Testament begins with a migration story, as Jesus traveled from heaven to earth to be incarnated as a marginalized child of a teen mother who was unwed at conception. He took the form of a human being and became the refugee, migrant, and, at times, the undocumented Christ of our salvation. Near the beginning of Jesus’ life, Mary and Joseph fled with him to Egypt as refugees. At the end of his life, he was crucified outside the gates of the city because he did not have the documents of a Roman citizen (Roman citizens were not crucified). He was undocumented. He was radically inclusive, peaceful, and hospitable messiah who ignored boundaries and welcomed all into his circles of love.”   ~from Immigration and the Bible, by Joan M. Maruskin

Notes from the Heart                                                 
~An Ode to Immigration                              
Tamara Farner-Swerline

I walked the gates of Eden, birthed children upon this earth and cursed the womb from which these lives progressed… flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone[1]
walking the banks of the Nile, the Euphrates, and the Tigress I cradled a civilization in my arms and nurtured them at my breast
I left my home and kinsfolk to settle new lands that teamed with opportunity, and riches, and welcome and when finding none became enslaved
I was an exile and sojourner in a foreign land all the while hungering for truth, and for justice, and for nourishment, and for a simple cup of water…
in the heat of the noonday sun, I lay beneath a towering saguaro and the manzanita tree in a silent desert wash while the wild coyote demands a pound of my flesh
merciful God… do you see what is happening to these your people?
“Holy Mary, Mother of God,
  pray for us sinners,
  now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
this bread made of wheat gleaned from the floor of a barren field, crushed and ground by hardship, moistened with tears of affliction baked in an oven of adversity until its time had come to pass, offered now to you
“take and eat, for this is my body that was broken for you… “[3]  
this cup offered to appease your thirst is wine made bitter with tears of despair and the silent prayers of the widow, and the orphan, and the displaced stranger
 “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for
  many for the forgiveness of sins…”[4]

[1] Genesis 2:23
[2] From Hail Mary a Common Catholic Prayer
[3] Jesus Christ in Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:24
[4] Jesus Christ in Matthew 26:28

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