A detainee helps prepare for Mass at the Mira Loma Detention Facility in Lancaster, Calif. (Christian Fuchs — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)
All: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take. (Mark 15:24)
Every year thousands of asylum seekers flee to the United States after facing great persecution in their homeland only to be interned and stripped of their possessions and dignity.
Refugees in the U.S. share their stories:
"The jail guards told us to take off all of our clothes, and then take showers. After showering, I was standing there naked, and then I was given a prison uniform. The whole process was surprising to me, and very embarrassing, but when you’re in jail, you have to do as you are told." — a refugee from Somalia who was detained for four months in a California detention center before being granted asylum.
"I was crying in jail. I was hungry. I was surprised to be in jail. I had never committed a crime, and suddenly I was in jail." — an Ethiopian refugee who was detained for six months in a Virginia jail before gaining asylum.
Lord, help us to recognize the "strangers among us" and to offer welcome to those seeking refuge in our country.
All: Our Father.
Let us keep watch with You.