our society has failed you.
You were a refugee, seeking safety and freedom,
and we did not welcome you.
You were naked and exposed, with inadequate shelter and insufficient pay,
and we did not fight with you for equal rights.
You were fearful of being detained or deported without a just trial,
and we did not provide you sanctuary.
We seek forgiveness for the ways we have forsaken you,
and offer our thanks for the communities,
people, and organizations who have
advocated for justice; and
provided sanctuary to people seeking refuge despite opposition.
your instructions are clear:
We shall not oppress migrant people, nor deprive them of justice,
nor practice extortion or commit robbery against them;*
We shall love strangers as ourselves,
for we have all been strangers;
We shall share our harvest, our homes, and our lives with others,
thus extending the same hospitality that you have selflessly shared.
We shall advocate for the human rights of all people.
Give us the steadfast persistence needed to follow your commandments
in these challenging times,
remembering that the love and respect that we show to each other
is the love that we show to you,
our Compassionate Teacher.
* See Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 10:18-19, 24:21; Ezekiel 22:29
—A prayer on the occasion of Refugee Rights Day in Canada, April 4.