Marked with an ash-cross on our foreheads we began Lent with the hope that we would encounter the transforming effects of the cross of Jesus Christ in our upcoming Easter celebration and ultimately when we face our personal transition from this life. With these goals in mind, Lent becomes a critical season for us to enter into intense periods of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in order to experience a “change of heart” – a metanoia – that will help us look upon the world and respond to the needs of others with the love and compassion of Jesus.
In flurry of activity, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” (you can read the full text here). The key points of the Executive Order are:
- 90-day ban on entry into the US from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan
- 120-day suspension of the refugee resettlement program
- Indefinite suspension of the arrival of Syrian refugees
- 64% decrease for refugees admitted into the US in 2017
- Prioritization of refugees who are religious minorities suffering religious persecution
- Mandated review of stricter vetting procedures for refugees and immigrants.
The Franciscan OFM friars of the United States have issued a joint Franciscan Statement on the Immigration Ban:
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25.35).