“The Mood of Christmas” by Howard Thurman
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner.
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among the people,
To make music in the heart.
This morning, I woke up to the news of ICE having released hundreds of migrants on Christmas Eve without having alerted local shelters of their decision. In addition, I learned of the untimely passing of Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala; he died in the custody of Customs and Border Protection on Christmas Day. During these days of government shutdown, what can we do to honor the wise counsel of theologian Howard Thurman, who reminds us of the call of the Gospels to do the work of Christmas?
Continue to pray.
Continue to educate ourselves about the realities to which these news articles point.
If you’re not already connected to organizations who are on the front lines of this work, start researching them now. I recommend PICO California, with chapters all over the state; Annunciation House in El Paso, TX; HOPE Border Institute in El Paso, TX; Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley’s Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX, and the South Texas Human Rights Center in Falfurrias, TX. Learn more about the good work these organizations are doing and support them in whatever ways you are able.
Raise awareness in your faith community. If you are Catholic, talk with the folks at your parish about participating in National Migration Week, January 6th-12th, 2019. Download the toolkit here.
If you don’t know who your Senators and Representative are, find out now. Call them daily to request that they defund ICE and do not allocate funds for the construction of a wall along the border with México.