We should welcome the migrants from the Middle East.

 Friday, 10/30/15

In the first reading St. Paul spoke of how much his Jewish heritage meant to him. He called them, “My own people, my kindred according to the flesh.”

Our daily news tells stories of the hundreds of thousands of men, women and kids whom the wars in the Middle East are ripping from their homes. Their sad stories echo Paul’s anguish at being separated from the songs and stories he grew up on.

This mass migration is the biggest story of our time. Perhaps reflecting on similar mass migrations from long ago could help us in dealing with this present one. I am thinking of three similar ones from the past.

In 2200 b.c. , many years of famine on the edges of the Arabian Desert  drove the Semitic races north to invading the Sumerian land between the Tigris and Euphrates. There they became the Babylonians, Canaanites, and Hebrews.

In 300 a.d. a dozen nations, abandoning Asia, invaded Europe where they settled in as the Germans, Franks and Celts. 

More recently, after 1970, millions of Blacks, finding their new southern employers too much like their old masters, headed north to Chicago and New York.

All three of those migrations were beneficial to the lands where they settled. We should look upon these influxes from the Middle East as part of God’s plan for a happier future for us all.  

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