We've seen dozens of faces in poverty over the years brought about by war, famine as a result of drought, dictatorship which cuts off the opportunties of education. Today I wish to begin a conversation on Domestic poverty. In the beginning the faces belonged to the mentally ill, the drunk, the drug addict. Then we began to see the effects of uneducation, single parents, joblessness, immigrants. Later it would include families displaced because of rising costs of housing and loss of rent control.
But what I would like to address here today is the ugly face of homelessness among our veterans. Let me share a story; a man walks into a church on Sunday disheveled, obvious to parishners in need of bathing. His sore covered body was exposed by the torn shirt he wore and he wimpered as he tried to come down the aisle. The man was abruptly interceeded by the ushers and thrown out the door being asked not to interupt the services.'
The Church's love for the poor is part of her tradition. This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and his concern for the poor. ccc2444 and 2448.
It was later mentioned by a bystander this man was thought to be a veteran. There is a new ugly face of poverty in town, the ugly face of homelessness among our veterans. It is unimaginable to think that after serving your country that many would find themselves on the street.
No home, no employment, no proper medical assistance to help them work through the process of reentering society at home, in the land of their birth. This should be unacceptable to us.
These forgotten souls lost to a system in need of restructure only adds to the hurt many are dealing with alone. There are a projected 1.5 million on the fringe of a community that has forgotten how freedom came to be, by the giving of lives. Sound familiar?
Look at a cross today, the ultimate life that was given.
I'm reminded of the scripture story of the beggar. That upon Jesus arrivial in town cried out "Jesus son of David have pity on me,"and the crowds tried to silence him which lead to him crying out even louder. In the news we read of horiffic acts of violence being committed by returning vets but these stories shouldn't cause us to position ourselves in "us agaisnt them stance". These men and women are our children, our aunts,uncles, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers
Regardless of your stance on War, the teachings of the Church in regard to the human dignity of each person does not, do you hear me? Does not exempt this group from the church's attention? We don't fully need to understand the reason why some vet's come back and are able to once again become part of the life they left behind. The lesson for us here is to recognize during these times of confusion,insecurity, despair and illness, our faith should compel us into some form of action, allowing the distress of these vets to motivate our hearts to respond in love and less judgement.
Tonight think of the countless faces that blur passed us in our day and say a prayer for those that have been left behind, those still trapped by the memories of war living on the streets. The Church's love for the poor is part of her tradition, please don't forget these include our homeless vets.
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta parton of the poor, pray for us.
To Jesus through Mary-Susan Sabahi