So do you happen to remember that book that Fr. Carmichael gifted to us all for Easter?! It is called: Beautiful Mercy by many different authors. Anyway, I’m going to ask that you pull this book out for the summer months to join me in reflecting on each of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Those who have ’fallen in love with God’, reciprocate that love in various ways, this book provides such examples. I hope this can provide us a means to reflect together, and think of different stories in our lives where we serve in the present and bring Jesus to those around us, particularly those in most need. I’ll be going through each section, starting this week! Each section is only 5-9 pages, but I know there is so much beauty beyond just those few pages for us to ponder and reflect.
The book begins with the corporal works of mercy, the first in our series is ‘harboring the homeless’. Right in the title of this work of mercy is the word: ‘home’.
Although many of us are blessed to be sleeping under a roof, over 100 million people question every day where they will sleep next.
I know that number shocks me, but also those 100 million people aren’t in Marshfield, so how does this effect us? Although physical housing is an issue in many places, one issue that hits right here at home is feeling emotionally ‘at home’. Many people all around us are emotionally exhausted, seeking that place or people that bring about the peace of home. How can you work to bring the peace of home to someone who desperately need to feel ‘at home’? This works for all ages.
Beyond the physical place and emotional peace, ‘home’ also includes meals. ‘Home’ is the place we are physically, emotionally and spiritually fed. I love the example which Cardinal Donald Wuerl uses to help us understand a sense of ‘home’ by way of passages from Shakespeare. Shakespeare points out that, “mercy is a two way street. It is not something we can do to others; in a way we share together with others the human condition so that words such as brother and sister are not simply a manner of speaking but a manner of living”. It is a great quote to reflect on to see how we can bring mercy to others through our words and actions.
I personally love how our Parish is one of the largest contributors to the Marshfield Food Pantry, which is a direct form of ‘harboring the homeless’ and bringing ‘home’ to a person in need, even just by providing a family a meal for the night. Next week I will talk about the second corporal work of mercy: feeding the hungry. Until that point, as Shakespeare points out: you can make mercy a two way street in your life by bringing that little piece of ‘home’ to those around us: physically, emotionally or spiritually.” Of course all of this leads us to falling in deeper levels of love with our Triune God. Happy Trinity Sunday.