8 July 2013
Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in Camden, NJ,
DeSales Service Works welcomes volunteers to join
in service, prayer, and learning in our struggling neighborhood.
- Service Word
- Last Week in Camden
- Upcoming Events
1. Service Word
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
“Neighbor” is the perfect word to use expressing the commandment at the heart of Christian living. Neighbor is simply the person to our left and to our right, in front of us, in back of us—whoever it is, wherever we are.
We always make the point when people come to serve for a time in Camden that we are very grateful for their assistance. In fact, the help of generous people from all over makes it even possible for us to do what we do. However, one of the biggest hopes we have in hosting volunteer groups is that they return to their regular environments with eyes and hearts expanded; so that they find ways to renew their service to their usual neighbors: friends, coworkers, classmates, family.
The Lord’s command will never let us rest complacent and “finished” —whether at home in our ordinary setting or in exotic places like Camden, Kensington, North Minneapolis, Haiti, or Lampedusa.
Pope Francis challenges us, talking about the particular call we all have as Church to care for the most needy neighbor wherever we find them:
We need to “go out, … to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.
Philadelphia minister to the homeless, Sister Mary Scullion advises: “Find your comfort zone—and then stay as far away from it as possible.”
-Who is your neighbor at this moment?
-How do you do going beyond you “comfort zone?”
-What do you think about the Pope’s calling attention to the “outskits,” as he phrases it?
2. Last Week in Camden
The second session of DSW’s Summer Internship Program began Sunday, July 7, with a warm welcome. There are four interns, and they are here for three weeks up to Sunday, July 28. Mike Morgan has them off to a great start!
3. Upcoming Events
Tuesday Oblate postulant Father Joe Wisniewski will come to Camden with Fr Judge student leaders to host a picnic for Ken and Barbie, the interns and all the DSW community.
Pope Francis has focused strongly on the need for the Church to take care of people at the margins of human life. His homily from “the Ellis Island of Europe”on Monday, July 8th, reports on his powerful witness.
Pax et Bonum,
Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS