September 9, 2018 – Pastoral Impressions by Fr. Bill

Dorothy Day was born in Brooklyn, lived in Chicago where she earned a four-year scholarship to the University of Chicago to study English. She stayed for only two years. Bored with the structure and convention of education, she returned to New York and began to work as a reporter for the radical newspapers THE CALL and THE MASSES.
Frustrated with her life, Dorothy began to search for God, and in the process, she discovered Catholicism. Still, she needed a way to exercise her faith in some way that would assist the social order in society. In 1932, Dorothy met Peter Maurin, a French peasant and social activist. Working together they scraped up fifty-seven dollars to pay for the first issue of THE CATHOLIC WORKER. Dorothy serves as an excellent illustration of a Christian in American society who refused to take the easy way out, but rather chose to be an advocate for the poor.
Our readings today describe how God opens our senses, challenging us to use them wisely while never failing to act to correct social ills. In today’s gospel Jesus shows himself to be God, for he too opens the ears and loosens the tongue of one coming to him for help.
Most of us are quite fortunate. We possess power over all five of our senses. When we have opened our senses, then we must respond to the challenge of St. James and avoid the temptation to discriminate. Few people intentionally discriminate against others, but we use varied criteria. Sometimes it is education; sometimes it is appearance; and sometimes it is one’s skin color, ethnicity, or national origin. We must do our best to see the whole picture, hear the entire story, and speak the complete truth, no matter how difficult, challenging, or disconcerting it may be. God has opened our eyes, ears, and lips; God has given us the opportunity to sense the plight of the poor. Let us not be indifferent, but rather let us use the gifts God has given us to give food to the hungry and to those who have a hunger for justice.

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