Sunday, 14th December

2nd Sunday in Advent

 Fr Andrew writes: 
The sudden spell of cold weather has been a bit of a shock to the system.  It got me thinking about the number of people who have to sleep rough at this time of year. Last Tuesday we opened our Night Shelter for homeless men, which will run on Tuesdays from now until March.  There was a good turn out and they had a hearty meal.  It was a pleasant and convivial atmosphere.  One story touched me deeply.  A homeless elderly gentleman had turned up at the church on Tuesday morning and was looking for some warmth from the cold.  He was introduced to me and was very polite.  The man was so relieved to find somewhere warm where he could sit for a while.  He was at the homeless shelter that evening and commented on how friendly everyone had been at the church.  That was a great source of encouragement to me. This is Christianity in action, reaching out to those in need.  I didn’t have to go anywhere.  The gentleman came here.  That says a lot.  For many people the church is their last port of call, their only hope.

 ‘Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.  This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society’ (EG 187)’. 

 This is a quote from Evangelii Gauduim, Pope Francis’ latest text.  It has a big section called ‘The Inclusion of the Poor in Society’.  It is a challenging read, well worth reflecting on, but then the Gospel is challenging!  (It can be downloaded for free from the Vatican Website www.va.com) 

Posted on December 17, 2014 .