Once again, our scriptures speak to us of hope, but also offer us a challenge which calls forth a response from each of us. The virtue of humility is mentioned several times:
In Sirach we hear:
My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
And you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
And you will find favor with God.
These words from the Gospel of Luke further exhort us:
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.
But the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
We find a comforting message in these words in the Gospel acclamation:
Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord,
And learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.
The challenge that calls forth a response from us is found in the responsorial psalm and the gospel:
God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
So, as we journey onward to the kingdom, how do we practice the virtue of humility, how do we focus on those less fortunate than ourselves, how do we walk together with all peoples on this journey?!
Well, for the last six months or more, members of our parish community have accepted the challenge by forming a Refugee Resettlement Ministry. At this writing we have over 150 people of all ages and sizes who have been working together to resettle our first family of Syrian refugees this coming Fall. The outpouring of faith and faithfulness, hard work, creativity and gospel action has been and continues to be overwhelming. From the start it was our intention to invite people to be a part of this ongoing ministry and have many people doing a few things rather than a few people doing many things. Following the example of Pope Francis during this Year of Mercy, these ministers are on fire with zeal and determination to live out the gospel message.
We give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy and look forward with eagerness to continue to minister to those less fortunate than ourselves. Onward to the Kingdom we go!!!
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.