“The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom; whatever else you get, get understanding” (Prv. 4:7).
The Book of Proverbs offers counsel for solving the complexities of immigration.
To understand the important role immigration fulfills is to understand God’s use of it. In the early pages of Genesis, God tells Abraham to take his possessions and migrate to the land of Canaan from Haran (Gn. 12:1-6).
Like Abraham, so too do Moses, the Hebrews and numerous biblical figures become immigrants. In these cases, immigration is God’s means for emancipation, elevating people’s lives and spreading the word of God.
Immigration represents hope of a new and enhanced life. Understood in this light, it promotes one of the three theological virtues that contains the grace needed to withstand despair and despondency: hope. It fortifies the human spirit by enabling people to look forward to the promise of new horizons.
The word “civil” contains the idea of home. A home-like spirit is imperative for immigration to succeed. It is the welcoming spirit that Bernini’s colonnades inspire at St. Peter’s in Rome: open arms extending to everyone as brothers and sisters in a spirit of solidarity.
Some people fear immigrants will introduce bad elements into their culture. The U.S. bishops see them differently: Immigrants are a rich gift enhancing the life of the church and nation. Immigrants amplify life’s largesse.
When people wall off themselves to keep out undesirables, fear and paranoia are reinforced. Worst of all, walls represent turning one’s back away from others instead of turning toward ways of creating conversion, reconciliation and fraternity.
Our God-given responsibility is to be God’s co-creator, working to improve and develop humanity. When we translate this responsibility, it means defending the dignity of immigrants who are fleeing undignified, degrading situations.
Understanding prompts us to reflect on what has just been discussed here and to see the necessity of a moral compass when responding to immigration.
Without God’s wisdom, treating immigration justly will falter. Without reverence for the hope it creates, despair will prevail. Without a spirit of reconciliation, redemption and solidarity, objections, unfounded doubts and naysaying will continue to hinder progress.
Without the law of God, laws concerning immigration have little to no possibility of succeeding.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it with youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: