Migrant Magi

Reflection for the Feast of the Epiphany by FAN board member, Sr. Maryann Mueller.

 This reflection was originally posted in our December 29th newsletter.
Epiphany Sunday marks the beginning of National Migration Week when we are called to reflect on the plight of migrants and refugees. In June 2014, the number of refugees worldwide exceeded 50 million children, women and men. Half of these refugees are children, many traveling alone or in groups. Millions of these refugees are people displaced because of environmental disasters. An example of this in the United States includes the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which forced an estimated 1.2 million people from their homes. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that in the coming years millions of people will be displaced due to effects of climate change. Analysts predict that this “crisis in the making” will affect roughly one in every 45 people on earth by 2050. 

While all refugees, because of the losses they have experienced and the instability in their life, are at risk for human trafficking, environmental refugees are at particular risk since under current international refugee agreements, people displaced by environmental disasters are not recognized as refugees and thus do not qualify for international aid or protection. It is virtually impossible to estimate the number of refugees, and people displaced by environmental disasters, who become victims of human trafficking. Two months after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, aid agencies warned that up to two million children were at risk of abuse or trafficking.

 

After Superstorm Sandy, the State of New Jersey allotted more than $1.5 million to bolster human trafficking prevention and treatment services for homeless youth. Unfortunately, the areas of the world that are most affected by environmental disasters related to climate change are the least likely to have the resources to protect their citizens.

 

The theme for National Migration Week this year, “We are One Family Under God” echoes St. Paul who wrote we are all “coheirs, members of the same body.” (Eph. 3:6) It reminds us how interconnected our actions are with that of all people and all of creation. May we choose to celebrate Epiphany by praying to always have the courage to live as if we believe that the “light has come and the glory of the Lord shines upon” (Isaiah 60:1) all people and all creation.

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Member
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Published in: on December 30, 2014 at 10:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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