Saturday, November 15, 2014

Co-Workers in the Truth

Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters, especially for strangers; they have testified to your love before the Church…For they have set out for the sake of the Name and are accepting nothing from the pagans.  Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.  3 John 5-6, 8

The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.  Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?  Will he be slow to answer them?  I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.  But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  Luke 18:6-8

Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands.  His descendants shall be mighty in the land, a generation of the upright will be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house; his righteousness shall endure forever.  Light shines through the darkness for the upright; gracious, compassionate, and righteous.  It is good for the man gracious in lending, who conducts his affairs with justice.  For he shall never be shaken; the righteous shall be remembered forever.  (Psalm 112:1-6)

If the dishonest judge will grant the wish of the persistent widow, Jesus suggests that God will not only do so as well to all who call on him consistently, but God will go ultra et supra -- above and beyond that example.  Putting these readings side by side with each other and with the headlines of the week are like a wake-up call on our duties to each other as humans.  

Last summer, our media were filled with the tragic stories about unaccompanied children crossing our borders.  These children are like the strangers referred to in the third letter of John.  While a debate is raging among politicians about what action the President will take or what action Congress will take, an article on Religion News Service explains that the nation’s Catholic bishops are jumping into the increasingly contentious battle over immigration reform by backing President Obama’s pledge to act on his own to fix what one bishop called “this broken and immoral system.”

Last Tuesday at the annual meeting, Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the migration committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the USCCB would continue to work with both parties to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  However, Bishop Elizondo said, given the urgency of the immigration crisis, “it would be derelict not to support administrative actions … which would provide immigrants and their families’ legal protection.”

“We are not guided by the latest headlines but by the human tragedies that we see every day in our parishes and programs, where families are torn apart by enforcement actions especially,” he said.

How are our political and religious leaders like the judge in today’s story?  How are the poorest and voice-less like the poor widow?

We have all heard about charities that help to grant children with serious illnesses their wish.  Did you know that one third of those wishes are to visit specific resorts in central Florida?   Think mouse ears.  Such wishes are as persistent and numerous as the petition of the poor widow.  With thousands of such trips planned each year, where do all these families stay?

Enter the Give Kids the World Village.  Give Kids The World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as there is a need.

Over 132,000 children have had their dream come true at Give Kids The World. No child in need has ever been turned away – and no child ever will. Give Kids The World is a place where families find joy, laughter, serenity, and a lifetime of memories. Through the tireless support of our volunteers, employees and generous partners, we dedicate each and every day to these special families.

As the holidays approach, we are often asking children what they want for Christmas.  Consider supporting the organization that supports all the organizations that grant wishes for children. Even better, when you take a vacation to see any of those central Florida attractions, spend half a day volunteering at Give Kids the World.  They always need a little maintenance, gardening and sprucing up to get ready for the next guest.  

Check out there How to Help page and while making your travel plans, also fill in their volunteer application.    

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