Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What do Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa and Pope Francis have in common?: Daily Mass Homily--Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

           Since being ordained a priest I have been inspired to grow in serving the poor.  I owe a debt of gratitude to you Sisters and our campus ministers here at CSS.  Simply being in your presence has been a witness of the call to love our neighbor.  I have also been amazed by the witness of Pope Francis is in his dedication to serving God and the poor.
            Part of the inspiration I have experienced has led me to learn more about great witnesses in loving the poor.  In particular I have been reading up on Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa and Pope Francis and I have found they have a lot in common.  The most obvious is their whole-hearted service to the poorest and loneliest in society.  They are the first to see Jesus in the face of the poor.  They also brought many people around them from various walks of life, including religion.  Even an atheist would recognize the contributions these three individuals made.  They had deep lives of prayer and were united to Mother Church.
            Yet the greatest feature Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa and Pope Francis have in common is their devotion to the Eucharist.  Did you know that in each house Dorothy Day founded in the Catholic Worker movement there was a chapel and daily Mass?  In one farming commune two hours were reserved in the morning for Mass! 
The Missionaries of Charity have a devotion to Adoration that grew slowly.  They began with a holy hour once a week.  At one point a sister asked Mother, “Can we have adoration every day?”  Her answer—“No” because there wasn’t enough time in the day!  But she went on to say they prayed and she prayed, and they added it to their daily calendar.  And not only did they find enough time in the day to get all the work done, but also grew in love in their community and for the people they served.
Pope Francis is well known for visiting the slums, sneaking out of his apartment to visit soup kitchens and living a humble life in union with the poor.  What our media misses though, is that he begins and ends every day before Jesus in the Eucharist and spends a few hours each day with Jesus.  He recently reminded the world that without adoration of the Eucharist, meditation on the Scriptures and personal prayer, our service to others becomes stagnant.
James reminds us what our faith is all about: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  Thank God for witnesses to show us how to live our religion to the full. 
And we especially thank God for the gift of the Eucharist, which we will receive again today.  May it help us to live out religion in full—to serve God and neighbor well.

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