Creating Room in a Manger - 2012 Christmas message

Deogratias M. Rwezaura SJ
JRS Eastern Africa Regional Director
Monday, December 17, 2012

Nairobi, 17 December 2012 - The end of the year always leads us into that reality of Jesus' own journey on earth, being born in a manger not by choice but because there was no room in the inn. In 2010 I celebrated Christmas in Kakuma refugee camp located in north-western Kenya. During the homily I asked refugees if they could make sense of the manger in their lives. For some the manger remained a reality so distant from them since they do not rear cattle in the camp, but for Anna (not her real name), the refugee camp was itself a manger. Despite the harshness of the environment in Kakuma, Anna felt welcome and given a safer place.

Jesus continues to be born in a manger and all persons, organizations, and countries that open their doors to welcome the forcibly displaced especially when the inn seems to be full reveal the fullness of love that is boundless. JRS and all its members and collaborators through our service, accompaniment, and advocacy constantly find ways of creating one more room for the people we serve in the various mangers of our time. I see no other way of celebrating Christmas than offering such immense generosity and hospitality to the forcibly displaced.

May the solidarity we share in working with the forcibly displaced never fade as we pray and work tirelessly to bring about a world of justice, peace and reconciliation. Thank you all especially our members who have come to the end of their mission with JRS. Remember that once a JRS member always a member, for our work is a witness to compassion and love and there is never an end to these values.

Merry Christmas to you all.