“While the doors were closed… Jesus came in”

This Word reminds us that what we are now living is marked by rules: stay indoors, keep distance, avoid staying close to each other. The virus has hit our lives so suddenly that, at times, we have the feeling of being crushed, breathless and stripped of everything. Fear has invaded, and is still invading our hearts; we cannot plan anything and we are not so much eager to start again, at ‘Monluè’, where there is a home that shelters asylum seekers and political refugees.

Staying at home is helping us to consider anew who we are and what our guests are for us; we understand better that what matters is not the service we provide but the ability to be companions and sisters in their lives; it is a challenge for everyone and it always goes beyond what we had expected and planned. Tensions and conflicts were not missing and for this reason, we asked Fr Bortolo, our parish priest to help us. He used to visit us daily to see how things were evolving and to support us, even just exchanging points of view. In our home called «la Grangia», there are 22 adult men, from 19 to 65 years old, coming from different cultural backgrounds (Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Colombia, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Togo, Somalia). Some of them, due to their background stories suffer from traumas, which induce them to vulnerability and fragility: an emergency within an emergency. Like everyone else, during this period they are forced to take leave from work and school, which were for them the ‘glimmer of hope’, after years of insecure traveling, with the constant fear of falling into the hands of traffickers. They did their best to make everyday life beautiful and suitable to live: some follow the Italian classes, others take care of the environment and enjoy natural beauty that our garden offers; others indulge in conversations and storytelling which help to strengthen their bonds and friendship.

Therefore, the Word consoles us and gives us light: while we were at home – closed – Jesus came, remained with us and gave us his peace.