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All the Lonely People, Where Do They All Belong?

November 18, 2014

November 17, 2014: Thirty-third Monday in Ordinary Time.

Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5.  Realize how far you have fallen and repent.

Luke 18:35-43What do you want me to do for you? Lord, please let me see.


Gospel Reflection:

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has for November as his Universal Intention: “That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.”  Pray for the lonely people.

There are an awful lot of lonely people out there.  I think, the Church, in her wisdom, remind us to take the Spirit of Christmas and the Spirit of Easter and enkindle in ourselves a spirit of birth and re-birth in hearing the Word of God and carrying it others.  She makes Ordinary Time green, to signal it is to be a time of spiritual seeding and growth.  But Ordinary Time is drawing to a close, and it is time to take heed.  Advent will prepare us for the coming of the Messiah, but also the King of the Universe coming again.  The Church year reminds us of that.  Christ the King, who we hear of in the imagery of Revelation, is coming again.  And there will be an accounting.  As Father said yesterday, what have we done with our talents?

There are an awful lot of lonely people out there.  We see them, especially, out in the cold, getting out of the wind, on the corners with signs, or muttering angrily in the parks.  We see them in line at the soup kitchen and missions.  And certainly we are called to touch the outstretched hand of Christ in the marketplace, and be charity as best we are able.  But we miss some of the not-so-obvious lonely people: perhaps it is a spouse here at Mass, who is newly separated or divorced, and needs to feel welcome at the parish. Or perhaps, a spouse who is the only one helping their family cling to the faith?  Perhaps a lonely person is looking for welcome in the pews of their last chance.  People struggling with same-sex attractions?  Or the people struggling with the harsh, unloving reaction of family because of same-sex attractions?!  Substance addictions.  Or maybe they’re people who just are not as adept at social situations as you or I.  Maybe, there are lonely people already here?  Are we welcoming?  Are we understanding?  Are we charitable?  I like to think so, here at St Henry, which is to say, my family.

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from? – Beatles, Eleanor Rigby

Or perhaps the lonely person is St Elizabeth of Hungary, a princess, who, despite all the advice to the contrary, gave away all her personal wealth, as well as the principality’s wealth to care for the marginalized.  Misunderstood and left to her own, she died a pauper at the hospital she created for the poor.  Perhaps we know someone like that?  Living saints.  Always striving to make a difference in the Kingdom of God, regardless of the cost.

Today we heard from another lonely person, a blind beggar on the side of the road near Jericho.  Jericho had been a sinful city, whose walls had been brought down by the righteousness of God, and perhaps the residents there now hadn’t learned much.  Maybe embarrassed, they chastised the lonely beggar, to be silent, to accept the sin of blindness – which was the teaching of that time – that he obviously deserved.  Funny thing about the blind, their other senses are much sharper than that of others.  He hears who it is.  He knows who it is: Jesus IS the Son of David, the Messiah of Israel.  So he comes forward out of the crowd, he begs for the right thing – mercy.  Jesus stops.  And allows the man to come to him out of the loneliness of sin – that separation from God – and asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The Lord is always stopping on the road, allowing us to draw closer to him; to salvation.  When the Lord asks you a question, you really need to have a good answer.  And the blind man does: “Lord, please let me see.”  Let me end this separation from God.

When the time comes for us to answer this question, how shall we answer?  For some, their answer is silence, or disbelief, or even derision.  For others, the answer is self-serving and shallow.  Consider an answer that allows for the Way to take shelter in the Kingdom of God.  Let us prepare for that time by serving others as best we can, by helping the lonely people see the invitation and love of Christ.




2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lonely permalink
    November 25, 2014 4:46 am

    The post is encouraging but I have found that people often like to isolate and belittle others. The sad truth is that most people professing to follow Christ rarely ever look beyond their own noses to see the humanity in a person – they let things stand in the way. Its hurtful that those who have looked to Christ for hope and strength often encounter bigotry and derision from some of his so called followers. Enjoyed the post but question the the ability of people to follow.

    • November 25, 2014 6:39 am

      Thank you for your comment. I, too, wonder at the ability to accomplish such lofty goals… but as I watched the news about the Michael Brown case in Ferguson last night, don’t you think we have to start trying? I am blessed to know many, many people in my community, who do everything they can for others. Many are white, not particularly wealthy, and kind to a fault. I am in awe of them, and the kindness they share with others. Yet, I know the disenfranchised rioter in Ferguson would rather spit on them than admit that there are good Christian people out there. All I can do is hope, pray, and leave a good example for my children. I will continue to try and reach out. Happy Thanksgiving!

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