The first corporal work of mercy is feeding the hungry. We are blessed in our community to have many opportunities to put this into practice. IN addition to our giving to various charitable endeavors, we also have very concrete ways to feed the hungry. We have the Francesca Resource Center, which is a great asset to our community. We have groups that work at Agnes' Table or the Sojourner House. Many of you help with the various food drives or the giving tree at Christmas. Money that the parish receives for funerals goes to our charity account which we use to help where possible those of our parish or in our community who are in need.
The point is that we each need to make sure that we are doing something to feed the hungry. Two things strike me about this work of mercy. That we 1) feed, 2) the hungry. Concretely, the two must go together. We concretely work to alleviate someone's hunger by providing food, and we remember that we are working to bring relief to someone -- a person, made in God's image and likeness, with a lofty dignity in their own right.
A story comes to mind that represents both of these important pieces. In Rome, Mother Teresa's sisters run a soup kitchen. I've worked there and so have many of my students. The poor come and eat, but the sisters do everything from the preparing to the serving to the cleaning up with great love. That's feeding the hungry. The sisters give them both sustenance and love. Another group of sisters I know in Rome ar also great friends to the poor. They themselves are beggars and go door to door in order to get their daily bread. They tell a story one day of going to eat at the soup kitchen of Mother Teresa's sisters. They got their food and sat down next to one of the persons eating there. He began to cry. When asked why he was crying, he said, "Usually I come here to eat with the Church. Today, the Church has come to eat with me." In this case, the sisters were feeding the hungry.
What I like about the story is that it illustrates the two aspects involved with feeding the hungry and neither can be left out. In practicing this corporal work of mercy, make sure you feed the hungry.
Men's Group: We will take a week off so that I can get to the Education Commission meeting -- No Men's Group on Thursday, January 21. But we will meet the next week on Thursday, January 28 at 5:00.
Last Week's Homily Suggestion: I know that it will be hard to believe me since I didn't mention it, but my idea really was to suggest that you and I find out our baptism date and put it in our calendars in order to celebrate. I didn't mention it, and it turns out that Pope Francis did at his Angelus on Sunday afternoon. Even if you don't believe that it was my idea first, it's an idea worth doing. Find out your baptism date and celebrate it! I don't know mine, so I will report back.