By Heidi Cerneka
Deepen our compassion, O God.
You are the judge, not us.
Our sister left behind home, family, culture, language
When she fled to protect her life,
her children, their future,
As greed and power ravaged her nation.
Our brother asked for refuge,
A refuge promised by the UN and the US,
But we welcomed him with detention,
Separation from loved ones.
Teach us to walk a mile in their sandals
And be moved to indignation and action.
Stretch our compassion, O God,
To embrace those
Who see this reality differently.
Move us beyond entrenched beliefs,
Inspire us to creative responses
And justice that restores relationships
And hope for all.
May those who knock at our door
Seeking refuge and hope,
Who are met with condemnation and walls
by this nation,
May they challenge us
To live our baptismal promise to the Gospel,
And may they judge us with compassion
when we fail.
Note: This prayer first appeared in the Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Voices of Compassion, Spring 2019. Reprinted with permission.