Sunday, January 17, 2010

Divine Love Meets Human Need

In the liturgical year, today is a Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Gospel at Mass is the account of the Wedding at Cana from the Gospel of John.

Saturday evening, I went to the 5:15 p.m. vigil Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle on Manhattan's West Side. The Mass was celebrated by Paulist Fr. Dave Farnum.

In his homily, Fr. Dave said the Wedding at Cana illustrates "an intersection between divine love and human need."

Over at Beliefnet, Deacon Greg addresses both the Wedding at Cana and this week's tragedy in Haiti for his homily this Sunday:

... on a morning where the scripture speaks to us of transformation, we remember that Haiti has also been transformed. The poorest country in the western hemisphere has been reduced to rubble. The cathedral has collapsed. The archbishop of Port Au Prince has been killed. The government offices are in ruins. A country has been transformed by tragedy.

And on this morning, I think, the gospel calls on each of us to effect another kind of transformation, within ourselves.

It summons us to be not merely watchers...but workers. Not just spectators...but servants -- servants of the gospel, servants of one another, servants of the suffering people of Haiti.

As Mary held the lifeless body of her son in her arms, we are asked this day to hold Haiti. To love what is bloody and bruised and broken.

This Sunday, in churches across the country, there will be special collections for Haiti. You have seen the pictures. You've read the stories. I don't need to tell you how desperate the situation is. This is a moment when all of us are called upon to go beyond ourselves: to love the neighbor we do not bind his dry her tears.

We can do that with donations, of course. Millions have already given by text messages and credit cards. But we can also do it with something people often forget in this secular age.

We can do it with prayer.

If we do nothing else, we need to pray for the people of Haiti. Pray for the lost, the orphaned, the widowed, the helpless. Pray for the mother who was on CNN the other night. She lost all five of her children, and her family could only hold her while she screamed. Pray for the students who were killed at the seminary. Pray for the rescue workers who are facing a new nightmare every day - without power, without water, surrounded every hour of every day by the sounds and smells of death.

Flashback: 2007

The image above is "Les noces de Cana" by James Tissot (1836-1902). It is owned by the Brooklyn Museum.


Bernie said...

Paul your post brought tears to my eyes but then they have come easy since the earthquake.....tomorrow the second Sunday in Ordinary Time I will remember this post.
I will light my candle as usual and pray as I have been, even with my donation, and prayers I still feel so helpless, but I know God hears the cries of all people including Haiti and he is there with them amongst the pain. He knows the reasons of this mysterious world and one day we all will.....:-) Hugs

Fran said...

This is an exceptionally good post in a blog filled with good posts.

God bless you Paul, this is beautiful.

I loved Greg's homily too!