The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Date: 
Mon, 11/17/2014
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Several weeks ago, while on vacation,
I found myself in downtown Montreal.
Even though it was cold, crowds of people were making their way along the sidewalk.
On every street corner there was someone begging, holding out a paper cup;
some were asking for charity, some simply remaining silent.
Even at the cathedral, someone was opening the door for visitors, holding out a cup.
 
I was confronted by the reality of these unfortunate people
and confronted by my inability to provide for their needs.
 
We can’t give food or money to every poor person we encounter.
We can’t give each of them a warm place, out of the cold.
But we can still have mercy, we can still have empathy, we can still have sympathy.
We can stop, just as Jesus stopped…
we can stop being focused on ourselves for a moment, on the business of worldly matters.
We can stop from launching into our list of justifications for not being empathetic:
this person is on drugs, this person made bad choices,
this person is lazy and doesn’t want to work…there are plenty of jobs out there.
 
Instead, we can cry for the person, pray for the person,
rededicate ourselves to doing what we can,
re-commit ourselves to being compassionate and charitable.
We can still respect the humanity, the dignity of the poor, the needy, the unfortunate.
We can remind ourselves:  Jesus sees this person, Jesus hears this person.
The one thing we don’t want to do is to close our eyes to the situation,
close our ears to the cries of the poor, their cries for pity,
because we feel guilty or angry or overwhelmed
Closed eyes lead to closed hearts.
And closed hearts remain in darkness, if now then possibly forever.
 
We are coming to the end of Luke’s gospel.
A summary of sorts is provided regarding Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus brings sight to the blind in fulfillment of God’s promises for the afflicted.
Through Jesus, God reaches out to society’s unfortunate ones, to society’s outcasts.
No doubt, receiving sight was a great gift to this blind man.
However, having physical sight,
having the comforts of shelter and food and societal acceptance…
are not salvation.
The greater blessing, the greatest blessing, is to see Jesus for who he is,
and follow him.
This is salvation.
 
Jesus showed mercy.
Let us pray for hearts that follow his example.