Sunday, December 18, 2011

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION For the Week of December 18, 2011

Catholic Charities. Providing Help. Creating Hope. 

VISION: Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

MISSION: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", we are called to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same.

GOALS: Catholic Charities is devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. Working to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

WHAT WE DO: Organizing Love. "As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community" (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20)

On Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Advent, B we read in the Gospel of  Luke about the story of the angel Gabriel announcing the Good News of the Incarnation to Mary -- a simple, humble, scared young woman.  Gabriel calms her with the news of God’s great love, and affirms Mary’s freedom to say “yes” to such an invitation to be the vessel of the Incarnation of God.  This powerful story is paired with today’s first reading from 2 Samuel, wherein King David is reminded that as he lives in luxury, God’s Ark resides in a tent.  David commits to building a new temple.  Mary’s “yes” goes further:  the Ark no longer resides in a tent nor in a building but God is With Us, made Flesh.

In Catholic Charities ,  we know the importance of helping families find a decent dwelling place that is safe, affordable and secure.  Caritas Communities’ Eastwood Village, with 152 units of permanent housing, is sponsored by our Catholic Charities Housing Corporation (CCHO) and the Humility of Mary Housing.  CCHO sponsors several other single and multi-family housing units in the City of Youngstown; our Catholic Charities of Portage County provides nearly 20 families with safe and secure housing in Ravenna. The Catholic Charities Regional Agency’s homeless outreach efforts provides safety for many people.  As well, the Regional Agency and the Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County’s work assisting persons facing foreclosure give help to families facing a major crisis.  Because we believe that God is made Flesh, and has built “his tent among us,” we continue to live out that belief by providing help and creating hope for persons and families each day.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace

Recognizing the primacy of being over having and of ethics over the economy, the world’s peoples ought to adopt an ethic of solidarity as the animating core of their action. This implies abandoning all forms of petty selfishness and embracing the logic of the global common good which transcends merely contingent, particular interests. In a word, they ought to have a keen sense of belonging to the human family which means sharing the common dignity of all human beings: “Even prior to the logic of a fair exchange of goods and the forms of justice appropriate to it, there exists something which is due to man because he is man, by reason of his lofty dignity.”

In 1991, after the failure of Marxist communism, Blessed John Paul II had already warned of the risk of an “idolatry of the market, an idolatry which ignores the existence of goods which by their nature are not and cannot be mere commodities.” Today his warning needs to be heeded without delay and a road must be taken that is in greater harmony with the dignity and transcendent vocation of the person and the human family.


Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24.   Christmas at Greccio, 1223
What better way to prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child than to take a brief journey to Greccio, the spot in central Italy where St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib in the year 1223.
Francis, recalling a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, resolved to create the manger he had seen there. The ideal spot was a cave in nearby Greccio. He would find a baby (we’re not sure if it was a live infant or the carved image of a baby), hay upon which to lay him, an ox and an ass to stand beside the manger. Word went out to the people of the town. At the appointed time they arrived carrying torches and candles.
One of the friars began celebrating Mass. Francis himself gave the sermon. His biographer, Thomas of Celano, recalls that Francis “stood before the manger…overcome with love and filled with a wonderful happiness…/” For Francis, the simple celebration was meant to recall the hardships Jesus suffered even as an infant, a savior who chose to become poor for our sake, a truly human Jesus.
Tonight, as we pray around the Christmas cribs in our homes, we welcome into our hearts that same Savior.


Last minute gift idea:   Don't wrack your brain trying to figure out a gift for that person who has everything.... instead, give a gift in their honor to Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Program.

 PAPAL INTENTIONS:   December 2011

General Intention: Peace among All Peoples.
That all peoples may grow in harmony and peace through mutual understanding and respect.

Missionary Intention: That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that they may be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor
  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

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