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Pope: Migrants Symbolize All Who Are Rejected by Society

Pope Francis said migrants “are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society” at the Holy Mass for Migrants on July 8.

“They are persons; these are not mere social or migrant issues,” he said. “‘This is not just about migrants,’ in the twofold sense that migrants are first of all human persons, and that they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.”

Addressing the subject through the lens of salvation and liberation, Francis referenced two stories: Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28 of a ladder on which angels ascended and descended between heaven and earth, and two healings of Jesus recorded in Matthew 9:18-26.

The former is a story about salvation, he said, “an allegory of the divine action that precedes all human activity.”

The latter is a narrative of liberation, with Jesus freeing a woman on the margins of society from sickness and bringing the child of a man at the center of power back to life.

Francis emphasized that Christians should offer compassion and support not only to migrants seeking safety by crossing borders but also to those impoverished within our nation’s borders where “the existential peripheries of our cities are densely populated with persons who have been thrown away, marginalized, oppressed, discriminated against, abused, exploited, abandoned, poor and suffering.”

The pontiff called hearers to imitate the angels in Jacob’s dream by “taking under our wings the little ones, the lame, the sick, those excluded: the least ones, who would otherwise stay behind and would experience only grinding poverty on earth, without glimpsing in this life anything of heaven’s brightness.”

The full homily is available here.