Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Will Be Given

“He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”  Luke 19:26-27

"For I was a stranger... - And you welcomed me." Matthew 25:35

What do we do for God?  How do we use our talents for others? 

Choices and temptations are at the heart of our two readings.  The seven sons are given a stark choice of either obeying God’s law or following a corrupt king.  Each one of them rejects the false hope of the corrupt king including the youngest following his mother’s comments.

She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said: “What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king’s command. I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses. But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews, will not escape the hands of God.” 2 Maccabees 7:30-31

We will not escape the hands of God, either.  We cannot retreat from the world like the servant who buried the coins provided by the king.  This parable is not about economics but about social justice.  If we have blessings, we should use them for good. The sons in the story from Maccabees did not worry about their own fate like the servant who stored his gold coin away.

Pope Francis reminds us “The Gospel calls us, asks us to be ‘neighbors’ of the smallest and most abandoned.”

When I came out of college, my first job was resettling refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (the “boat people”) who fled to refugee camps in Malaysia after the end of the war in Vietnam.  I was working for Catholic Charities in Charlotte.  Yesterday, after the North Carolina governor called for a ban on Syrian refugees coming into his state, the Diocese of Charlotte reiterated its support of refugee resettlement.

David Haines, the spokesman for the diocese said that over the last 40 years Charlotte Catholics have welcomed more than 15,000 refugees from all countries, and they all had to pass through security checks first.  Haines said the church has confidence in the system used by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to examine the backgrounds of each refugee before they are resettled.

"Obviously, there has been no problem from any of these 15,000 people and I think this is because of the very stringent process that the State Department has in place.

"We would not be accepting refugees if we felt they presented a danger to people in the community," Haines said.

CRS has an action alert to contact the President and members of Congress to provide leadership to help Syrian refugees.  Even if you cannot house a refugee or family, you can contact national leaders and urge them to support the vulnerable with this action alert:

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