JRS programs serve refugees at Melkadida Refugee Camp, about 70 kilometers from Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. (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.
It was the day of preparation, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. (Luke 23:54-56)
The hope and light of the world has been laid to rest, and the women of Galilee and faithful followers ache with despair. Each year, millions of vulnerable brothers and sisters seek refuge in new lands, always clutching the hope of a brighter future.
Yet they are often greeted by deplorable refugee camps or urban poverty and denied basic human rights—from the right to work to the right to an identity—needed for survival and a peaceful existence. For them, these conditions form a living tomb.
As one Jesuit priest stated, "Wherever suffering is present in the world, there the cross of Christ is mysteriously present…" It is by this cross that light pierces through the darkness as those suffering wait in hope for the joyful coming of the Lord.
Nathaniel, a refugee from Tanzania expresses this sentiment:
"There are many difficulties and little joy for us refugees, yet it is impossible for a Christian to lose hope. The patience and endurance I need come from God. After more than 30 years of being a refugee, I am confident God knows when I will return home to Burundi."
All: Our Father.