Men and women in search of peace. This is how the Holy Father, Pope Francis, calls migrants and refugees. His message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, being celebrated on January 14 (today) again focused on four verbs—welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees. We need to listen deeply to the message of the Holy Father. This is a truth that requires of us pastoral conversion and conversion of heart.
Refugees flee their homeland for fear of persecution, whereas migrants leave by choice, in search of better opportunity. Such a basic act of preservation by refugees, human beings seeking peace, is met however, with disdain. Instead of being embraced, clothed, welcomed or fed, refugees are subject to further humiliation by us, our friends, communities, and nations, and treated as unworthy of dignity and respect.