July 17.  Xenophobia. When the elderly men met from time to time their conversation was different from that of the women.  “When I was reading the story of the Israelites in Egypt it made me think of the foreigners in our land.  Things were very different in Egypt.  Imagine with all this xenophobia we’ve been having what would happen if we oppressed the foreigners and made them work so hard for us.” “But we do in a way, as they often get paid less than locals, or end up as illegal miners.”  It sparked off quite a debate to consider how things had changed over time. 

Reflect, share, act. Scripture:   The Egyptians were in dread of the sons of Israel.  So they made the people serve with rigour and made their lives bitter with hard service.  Exodus 1:13-14  Pope Francis. some people are hesitant and fearful with regard to migrants.   I consider this part of our natural instinct of self-defence.  Yet it is also true that an individual and a people are only fruitful and productive if they are able to develop a creative openness to others. I ask everyone to move beyond those primal reactions because there is a problem when doubts and fears condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and even racist.   Fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other.  FT 41