…IF NOT US, THEN WHO?

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Recently I read an article about a homeless Veteran ticketed and charged with “disorder” because he was trying to scavenge food from a trash can….yes….the HORROR! A real desperado! An UNSPEAKABLE CRIME was committed…BULL HOCKEY!!

I see the homeless here on the streets of the city I live in, and I do what I can with what little I HAVE GOT to help them….how much more so can someone who HAS money??

It is the basic PRIVILEGE of being a Christian to aid those less fortunate than ourselves…

Bear in mind, I am not talking about mortgaging the family home, nor selling your car to help..I am talking about those blankets in your closet…the ones you save “for guests”….or those cans of soup you never seem to want to eat….or that raincoat that “just wasn’t my color’ you got….

All it takes is a few minutes out of your life to take a bag of dog food to a shelter, or cans of cat food, or bag of bunny chow…get in your car, and drive.

All it takes is you WANTING to be parted from the things you do not use ANYWAY…and though it seems a small drop of water ,compared to say donating millions or thousands to a homeless shelter, it is what YOU CAN DO.

We too often seem to forget those who “fell through the cracks” in life. We see them on the street, but our eyes slide right past them.

We are too used to it, you see….we like to pin labels on them like “slacker” or “scammer”..we say things like “get a job” or “they chose that life”….not so. Some had no other place to go when their lives fell apart. During this recent economic crisis how many of us WERE only a hairs breath away from the street?? How may of us were so stressed out because the rent was coming up and we had nothing??

How many of us looked into our cupboards and saw TOO LITTLE…? Now…here is what should shock you…THEY HAD NO CHOICE EITHER.

If someone like myself…a Mendicant…with neither money, nor goods can give what I CAN…clothes that no longer fit….blankets that I do not need….change I find while out walking….how much MORE so can YOU give…?

You have these things in your house, yes? You have the means to GIVE SOMEONE LIFE.

The VERY WORDS of my Master say: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

or I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
-Matthew 25:34-40

The parable of the Good Samaritan says it all…it should DEFINE your faith….
“In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers.

They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.

Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.

The next day he took out two denariie and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” “-Luke 10:30-37

I am not saying bankrupt yourself…I am not saying empty your larder….I am saying there are SOME things you can spare….and there are WAY TOO MANY out there who NEED the basics of life.

Sure, you may get in trouble…but look at it this way: You may get into trouble HERE, but in Heaven you are getting a STANDING OVATION…black marks of your sins are being ERASED by your charitable actions!

If ENOUGH PEOPLE did these things, just 20 out of every 500, then there would be NO hunger, homeless, or destitute.

It is sad to see that people starve to death in a land of plenty because NO ONE wants to help them

Even if you are a PASSIVE Christian you know this to be true…

So, next time your in the store and you see someone outside saying “please, help me”…are you going to just walk by??

READING OF THE DAY: 16 MARCH, 2013

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“Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, «This is truly the Prophet.»

Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he?

Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”

So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.

Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”

The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.”

So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”

Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,

Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?

They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house,” -John 7:40-53.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 16 MARCH, 2013

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Saint Abraham
Solitary and Priest (†370)
and Saint Mary his niece (†375)

Abraham was a rich nobleman of Edessa, born in the year 300. Ceding to his parents’ desire, while still very young he married, but escaped to a cell near the city as soon as the feast was over.

His family searched for him for seventeen days, and were still more astonished when they found him.

Why are you surprised? he asked them. Admire instead the favor God has granted me, the grace to bear the yoke of His service, which He has wanted to impose on me without regard to my unworthiness.

He walled up his cell door, leaving only a small window open for the food which would be brought to him from that time on.

The wealth which fell to Saint Abraham by the death of his parents ten years after his retirement, he gave to the poor by the good offices of a friend, to whose probity he entrusted the commission.

Since many were seeking him out for advice and consolation, the Bishop of Edessa ordained him priest, overruling his humility. Soon after his ordination, he was sent to an idolatrous city which had hitherto been deaf to every messenger.

He was insulted, beaten, and three times banished, but he returned each time with fresh zeal.

For three years he pleaded with God for those souls, and in the end prevailed. Every citizen came to him for Baptism.

After providing for their spiritual needs he went back to his cell, more than ever convinced of the power of prayer.

In that cell, then, for fifty years, he would continue to sing God’s praises and implore mercy for himself and for all men.

Saint Ephrem wrote of him that a day did not pass without his shedding tears; but that despite his constant and severe penance, he always maintained an agreeable disposition and a healthy and vigorous body.

He never reproved anyone with sharpness, but all he said was seasoned with the salt of charity and gentleness.

His brother on dying left an only daughter, Mary, to the Saint’s care. He placed her in a cell near his own, and devoted himself to training her in perfection.

After twenty years of innocence she grew lax and fled to a distant city, where she drowned the voice of her conscience in sin.

For two years the Saint and his friend Saint Ephrem prayed earnestly for her. Then Abraham went in disguise to seek the lost sheep, and had the joy of bringing her back to the desert a true penitent.

She received the gift of miracles, and her countenance after death shone as the sun.

Saint Abraham died five years before her, in about 360.

All of Edessa came for his last blessing and to secure his relics.