Corporal Work of Mercy - Giving Shelter to the Homeless

Saint Michael the Archangel Parish Family

Social Justice Ministry

During this Year of Mercy, we are focusing on practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy.  For January of 2016, let us reflect on Giving Shelter to the Homeless

Hebrews 13:2  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.

Have you ever wondered where you were going to sleep at night?  There are nearly 100 million people in the world who have to ask that question every day.  The concept of “homelessness,” however, extends far beyond dropping a quarter in the tin cup of the person who has no place to call home…no place to comfortably sleep tonight.  It includes all those people in our lives who don’t feel wanted, loved, or appreciated.  Have you ever felt unwanted, not welcome, a “third wheel”?  Don’t ever dismiss the importance of even the slightest gesture of hospitality…a smile, a nod, an open hand, an invitation to join the group. 

What we have done at St. Michael’s to respond to this work of mercy:  a consistent emphasis on hospitality… establishment of the Welcome Ministry…“All Are Welcome” theme… providing bed linens for Inn from the Cold… monetary and item donations to local shelters…greeters and door tenders for Mass times, extending “welcome,”… hospitality after Masses, Damien Dinners, Irish Night Concert to benefit the shelters, donations to the Regional Food Bank, “Crafty Ladies” knitting group making scarves, mittens, and gloves, involvement in Family Promise, etc.

YOUR “Works of Mercy” To-Do list (ways that YOU can extend this work of mercy):  respond to the collections in the parish for the local shelters to the extent your resources allow…don’t save seats at parish events (be welcoming and meet some new people)…make a commitment to introduce yourself to one person you don’t know every weekend…become more aware of homelessness by doing some reading on homelessness in our area and suggest ways to our Social Justice Ministry for alleviating homelessness …participate in change your seat Sunday…SMILE at people as they arrive for Mass…volunteer at one of the shelters…offer to cook or serve at our monthly Damien dinners…you finish this list!

A message from St. Basil the Great:  “the bread that you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you are responsible for.”