In the Roman Missal (that book I use for prayers at mass) there is a section entitled “Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions.” At the information meeting we had on refugees Fr. Paul Turner recommended that we occasionally use the prayer for Refugees and Exiles that comes from that section of the missal. Sometimes I think it is helpful if you have an opportunity to look at the prayer so you can have a deeper appreciation for what it is we are praying. Below is the opening prayer or Collect as it is termed in the Roman Missal.
O Lord, to whom no one is a stranger
and from whose help no one is ever distant,
look with compassion on refugees and exiles,
on segregated persons and on lost children;
restore them, we pray, to a homeland,
and give us a kind heart for the needy and for strangers.
The model we look to for how we treat a stranger, refugees, or lost children is our God. No one is a stranger to God. God is always near with compassion for refugees, for segregated persons and on lost children.
The Eucharistic prayer I have been using the last couple of weeks is entitled “Jesus, who went about doing good.” This prayer is recommended for masses when we pray for refugees. Listen to the good Jesus did.
He always showed compassion
For children and for the poor,
For the sick and for sinners,
And he became a neighbor
To the oppressed and the afflicted.
By word and deed he announced to the world
that you are our Father
and that you care for all your sons and daughters.
Later in the Eucharistic Prayer we pray:
Open our eyes
to the needs of our brothers and sisters;
inspire in us words and actions
to comfort those who labor and are burdened.
Make us serve them truly,
after the example of Christ and at his command.
And may your Church stand as a living witness
to truth and freedom,
to peace and justice,
that all people may be raised up to a new hope.
Many times when we go to God in prayer we ask something of God. In these prayers I think God asks something of us. Are we prepared to respond?
An audio recording of the Forum on Refugees is available on our parish app under the “homilies” tab.