…. and the people continued to arrive from many and different places. There was not a day without someone knocking at the door; and always, without exception, there was a mattress, on which to rest and a plate with a hot meal, on the table. The house expanded every day, even if in reality, what was growing and becoming more human was the heart of all the persons who lived in the house.
It would seem the end of a beautiful child’s story, but sometimes we need to go back to the language of beauty, which helps us dream the utopia and to discover it in the gray and complex reality in which we live. In Oujda, Morocco, frontier with Algiers there is an open house for the persons who, crossing Africa are on the way toward Europe; it is a house full of names and faces, full of shared life.
In this house Michel, from Cameroon, 23 years old, last week told all of us: “Thank you, this is the first day after 16 months of traveling that I have been able to rest without fear, that I have eaten without being in a hurry, and that I have been able to speak, feeling that I am in a family”.
It is here. where the eyes of Marion, 8 years old, shine brightly when he tells how he arrived here after a hard life and suffering during a long time in a ghetto of a suburb and how, now he goes to school, plays and laughs and once again he is a child.
It is in this place where so many young boys can heal their wounds and where each story and each life can be renamed, accepted, accompanied, enlightened, and where daily, from day to day, new spaces of trust and closeness are opened.
Low is this roof where friendships are forged, when together, we touch our own vulnerability and accompany one another from it.
A house, which with its lights and shadows is a memorial of other houses that in the life of Jesus are transparency of the Gospel:
A Samaritan inn that accepts and heals those, crossing frontiers, who arrive to its doors hurt and wounded by suppression and violence.
The house of the good father, who waits and embraces, who opens its doors to many adolescents who, in their migratory adventure, lose their force and faint, who dream, run risks, make mistakes and go back looking for the embrace, to the place of reference and love.
The place for conversations, for sharing, like the house of Martha and Mary, like the well of the Samaritan woman, like the house of Matthew… conversations that go deeper, connect and set on the way.
A shared table, where bread and life are shared, and where in some magic moments, like for the disciples of Emmaus, our eyes are opened and we tell one another… “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road?”
Today, the day when the Church commemorates the World Day of migrants and refugees, this house invites us, once more, to open our lives to acceptance, to believe in the miracle of small gestures, to set out on the way creating and recreating spaces that humanize and humanize us, to accompany healing processes of growth.
Because at the end, and after all, they, those who cross deserts and frontiers, come to us with the great proposal to detach ourselves, to question all our world, to lead our lives again toward the Gospel. They, men and women, once more are an invitation and an opportunity for us.
It seemed that the house expanded every day, even if in reality what grew and became more human was the heart of all the persons who lived together in the house.