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Do We Help People Who Shouldn’t Be Here? Works of Mercy and Immigrants

Why Help People Who Shouldn’t Be Here?

At Casa Juan Diego we do not help people who shouldn’t be here.

At Casa Juan Diego we simply practice the Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick and imprisoned.

Biblical Imperative

The Bible says that we should receive the alien, those from the foreign land, into our homes. This is why Casa Juan Diego was started: an attempt to be biblical in the face of increased immigration to the city of Houston.

Trying to Live in God’s Grace

At Casa Juan Diego we are hooked on St. Matthew’s chapter 25, verse 31 and the following, where Jesus tells us what we do for the least of the brethren, we do for him.

Matthew 25:31 ff. tells us about the requirements to receive a good evaluation at the end of our life. It has to do with serving sisters and brothers.

At Casa Juan Diego we are trying to be holy by dong what the Lord asks of us, i.e., practice the Works of Mercy in order to prepare us for our final evaluation.

God knows we haven’t succeeded. Mostly, we are tired, impatient people who constantly forget that it is more important to be holy than to be busy.

Did Jesus Require I.D.?

No I.D. is required at Casa Juan Diego. We searched the Scriptures and nowhere could we find where Jesus required identification of people to receive help.

We are incensed when people uninvited force their financial papers and identification papers upon us, as if this sets them apart.

The Good Samaritan, An “Illegal Alien”

Could you imagine the Good Samaritan demanding I.D. from the man he had found robbed and beaten and passed by society’s best?

Could you imagine the Good Samaritan throwing the robbed and beaten man back into the ditch because he didn’t have the appropriate papers? “Just another wetback,” we can hear people saying.

Ironically, the Good Samaritan was an undocumented alien or at least an unwelcomed alien from the North.

Just what was Jesus telling us?

Some Aliens Should Be Here

All theologians, liberal and conservative, state that parents have the right to take the food of others to prevent their children from starving. All of them give permission to steal in this situation. This is always one of the first lessons of the seventh commandment.

The Right to Life comes before the Right to Possess.

Obviously all theologians would give parents the right to go to the place where they could earn food for their children.

Houston Catholic Worker , Vol. XXX, No. 4, August-October 2010.