Flinging Wide The Doors To Our Hearts!

Last year, Pope Francis spotted a cluster of Italy’s “pitchfork” protestors, upset with unemployment and cuts in social services, holding a banner in St. Peter’s Square that read, “The Poor Can’t Wait!”  Francis, in his unique and unpredictable style, pointed to the sign and exclaimed, “That’s beautiful!”, launching into an extemporaneous sermon on homelessness and how it harms the fabric of human life!

At Christmas Mass this year, The Holy Father laid out the spiritual basis for the social gospel and asked for peace in a ‘uneasy world’. He brought two messages together: peace and action to the vulnerable. By doing so he stressed a special “vulnerability” implied in God’s choice to be born into a poor meager-means family. Yes, to be a Catholic means we follow the inherent dignity of every human person into our awareness, and by due diligence of the social gospel that makes us, well, what we truly are as a greater church!

During one year’s Urbi et Orbi  (“to the City [of Rome] and to the World”) address, a papal address and apostolic blessing given to the entire world by the pontiff on certain solemn occasions, such as Christmas.Francis returned to the same idea. “Let us allow our hearts to be touched,” he said. “Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God. We need his caress.”

That is why I am pleased to announce a very special happening at our parish beginning this coming Lent! For the entire Season of Lent, we will be home to something so special, we cannot contain it just here, and so our doors will be flung open wide to allow the greater community to visit for all of the six weeks of Lent and into Easter! Stay tuned to learn more in the coming weeks and begin to soften your hearts as we boldly embrace the most vulnerable among us!

In the interim, I ask that we all pray on this reflective concern: How might we carry the same message – the deeper message of Christmas – now to those in need, and bring them the caress of a living God, like those first immigrants, the aliens,  we now call, ‘The Holy Family’?

PS. Our Annual Parish Board Retreat is January 19th– I urge you to send us your needs, desires, changes, and concerns as we move into a year that we will soon name as part of our addressing the needs of the most vulnerable!

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