‘I was hungry and you gave me no food… I was a stranger and you did not welcome me… Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to me’ (Matthew 25:42-45).
The 2017 Lenten study is now available online. The title of the study is God’s Heart for Migrants: Biblical Wisdom for a World in Turmoil, authored by Dr. David Shepherd, Assistant Professor at Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin.
The five-part study includes timely and highly engaging material examining the following areas:
- God’s People as Migrants: From the beginning, when Abram left Ur of the Chaldees for Canaan, the Hebrew people wandered from place to place as migrants until, led by Moses out of Egypt, they settled in the promised land.
- God’s Heart for Migrants: Reminding the Jewish people that on account of their own sufferings as migrants in Egypt, God requires them in the Law to love and respect the foreign migrants in their community.
- Ruth – a Story of Migration: The Book of Ruth offers a personal story of the hardships and dangers of migration, especially for women on their own.
- Ruth – a Story of Integration: Ruth is also the story of a woman who had emigrated with her husband to a strange land, only for him to die, leaving her in a quandary about how to survive alone in a foreign place. Ruth returns to her native land with her mother-in-law, living in dire circumstances until she is rescued by and wed to one of her husband’s relatives. How did she cope with living in a foreign community with changed life circumstances? What personal pressures did she have to negotiate?
- A Migrant People: Migration continues to be a theme throughout Jewish history, explored by prophets and historians alike. This Study looks at how their ideas feed into the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels.
‘The refugee, or immigrant, is not just someone we are called to do good to, but someone who – like the “Samaritan” normally rejected by the Jews – turns out to be one who blesses or even saves us, as much as we save him or her. This year’s study — in reading old stories in new ways — shows that this idea of the outsider as helper/contributor is found in the Old Testament and flowering in the teaching of Jesus.’
Canon Dr. Ginnie Kennerly, BACI
The official launch of the printed booklets by Archbishop Michael Jackson will be on 24 January 2017 at 12.50pm in Church House, Dublin. Copies will be available at Church House and from Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Please check, also, with St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast for availability.
Click here for full PDF file copy of 2017 Lenten Study.
Dr. David Shepherd, Assistant Professor, Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin