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Dear Friends,

The Interfaith Peace Project is offering eleven days of reflections for your consideration during the eleven days leading up to The International Day of Peace, September 21st. The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”  (Please see Thomas P. Bonacci’s letter of September 11, 2018.)

In our reflections, we bring together the wisdom of The Declaration of Human Rights, The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

In today’s refection, we consider Articles 14 & 15 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As you prepare to observe The International Day of Peace, please consider these reflections. May they inspire and challenge you to be the peace you seek.

The Interfaith Peace Project

 

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Articles 14 & 15

Article 14

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy
in other countries asylum from persecution.

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions
genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts
contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

Everyone has the right to a nationality.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality
nor denied the right to change his nationality.

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United States Constitution
The Bill of Rights
Amendments

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Amendment XIV

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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Reflections on Immigration

Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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Christian New Testament

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in…” Matthew 25:35

Jewish Scripture (Old Testament)

“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9

“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns. Deuteronomy 24:14

 Hear Us, O God

Hear us, O God.  Hear our families of mixed status. Hear those who wait in fear of separation, burdened with anxiety.

Hear us, O God. Hear all who are called “foreigner.”  Hear us when we experience cold stares or mistrust because of the color of our skin or the language we speak.

Hear us, O God. Hear our brothers and sisters who sweat in the fields. Hear those who work long, backbreaking hours growing food, serving us at restaurants, and cleaning our homes.

Hear us, O God. Hear those young people who were brought to this country as children.  Hear their dreams for a future of hope.

Hear us, O God. Hear vulnerable women and children. Hear those who have fled domestic violence, rape, or gangs to seek safety in this country.

Hear us, O God. Hear those who work in the shadows and are exposed to exploitation and harassment. Hear those for whom just pay for a just day’s work is always uncertain.

Hear us, O God. Hear us as we raise our voices. Hear your people as we seek laws and policies to protect the vulnerable and welcome the stranger.

Standing together-a single yet diverse body of Christ, we pray:  Shepherd of the flock, hear us. Be with us, restore us, and strengthen us, for we belong to you.

May your kingdom come and your will be done.  Amen.

Copyright © 2017, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. This text may be reproduced in whole or in part without alteration for nonprofit educational use, provided such reprints are not sold and include this notice. Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970.