Fr. Rick’s Gospel Reflection for Monday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time, October 31, 2022
Luke 14: 12-14 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/103122.cfm
Please open your Scriptures and read these verses prayerfully.
St. Teresa of Calcutta Ways to Practice Holiness.
It is not uncommon to meet someone looking for a handout from the 38th Avenue ramp on 75 in St. Petersburg, FL. It is strange how my heart is full of generosity one day, and other times I don’t notice the person. Sometimes I make excuses not to help them, thinking they will use it to buy alcohol. Wow! None of those reasons to help or not help the poor are Gospel living.
Jesus is asking us in today’s gospel to rethink why we help people. They need more than a handout. That five bucks will be gone by lunch. What about dinner? If I give a person something while waiting for the light to change on a street corner, I will forget them moments after I go through the intersection.
Such an act of kindness isn’t enough to satisfy the heart of Jesus in that person. First, we have to get to know them. Jesus is all about relationships. What can restore someone’s dignity – cash in their hand or a conversation over a meal we cook?
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back, and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind….”
The Gospel Challenge:
One banquet comes to mind, Pinellas Hope. Bishop Robert Lynch started over 15 years ago. It has a success rate of over 75% in getting people off the streets into a job and a home. It is a safe way to feed people, but you can get to know them personally. Our parish cooks a meal for Pinellas Hope every Frid and many holidays. We also cook a hearty breakfast every first Saturday of the month.
Why not check them out and see if you can visit someone trying to get back on their feet in Pinellas Hope? Then, over time, you may become friends, which can change their life and your own.
IGNITE THE FIRE.
God bless you, my friends.
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.
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