Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent and Homelessness

Dear Invisible Neighbor,

When Jesus came he found himself temporarily homeless, sleeping in the O AD equivalent of a garage.

Have you ever had to sleep in a garage? Are you considered homeless if you still have a garage that you can sleep in?

Little Lord Jesus, no crying he made, on his manger mattress.

My friend John was interviewed by the Associated Press the other day about homelessness. John works for the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. He said, and the Washington Post quotes John saying that one-third of homeless shelter residents are newly homeless. I guess if Jesus came today, he would fall into that group of newly homeless. Plus he would fall into the increasing statistical category of women and children. This is a category that has doubled in the last two years.

Christmas has always been associated with good-deed doing for the poor and homeless. From Saint Nicholas to Good King Wenceslas, who on the feast of Stephen gave flesh and wine and pine logs to the poor peasant living in not much more than a stable between a forest fence and a fountain, neighborly folks with excess goods, have found that winter's rage is tempered by benevolence.

If the homeless, like Jesus, are sometimes invisible, let's pray that the Advent season gifts us with eyes to see and ears to hear.


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