In this migrant crisis there were two of Our Lord’s words that could apply to us. One is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The other is “I was a stranger, and you took me in.” The first asks us to see ourselves in the migrants; while the other asks us to see Christ in them.
What did Jesus mean by telling you to love your neighbor as yourself? I had always taken him to mean that you had to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.
But he could also have meant that you should love your neighbor as though he or she were yourself. I mean, he meant for you to practice empathy. Imagining you were that other weary person.
I don’t know about you, but I am surprised by all the pictures I see of the people catching trains, overloading boats, or swimming to freedom. What surprises me is that they seem to be as nice as we are, or even nicer. They are people who gave up everything in their search for a good future for their children.
Then, Jesus said, “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” Each of those parents, and each of their kids, is so dear to Jesus that he sees anything you do for one of them is the same as though you were dong it for him.