Would Jesus, Mary and Joseph be Welcomed in our Country Today?
In this political season in which refugees have become a political football, it is worthwhile remembering that the baby Jesus is depicted by the Bible as being a Syrian political refugee. In ancient times, “Syria” referred not to the area of the modern country but to the entire Levant– Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Scholars sometimes call it “greater Syria.” Outsiders in places like Alexandria, Egypt, would have considered Joseph, Mary and Jesus to be refugees Syrians.
Current day refugees face many hardships as they flee the civil war and violence in their own countries. They too are fleeing for their lives. According to Amnesty International, over 50% of the Syrian population is currently displaced. This crisis is real and growing. In 2014, Pope Francis noted, “Millions of refugee families from different nations and of every religious faith lived through dramatic stories and carry deep wounds that will be hard to heal.”