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Saturday, 22 December 2012

On dogs, cats and babies...and the homeless

Do animals make us better people? Dogs, cats... here is a dog up for adoption.

and there are cats needing homes....

Sadly, there are no longer many babies for adoption in Europe. And, many Catholic agencies have been forced to close.

But, helpless creatures make us better people. We have to sacrifice for their needs.

Babies do. Parents know that the real changes which led to a deeper spirituality in their lives happened when they had children.

The sacrifice involved in having and raising a child is called "dying to self", which is why so may young ones do not want to have babies.

Hard work.

This is a modern, contemporary idea. In the past, children were considered blessings from God, especially in one's old age. The Scriptures brim with references to the blessings of children.

Can one imagine the blessings which Baby Jesus brought to His Mother and His foster-father? One cannot imagine.

Imagine holding God. Imagine feeding God. Imagine watching God sleep.

But, we can, for Christ said, in Matthew 25:31-46
31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty.
32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
34 Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:
36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.
37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?
39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee?
40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.
41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.
43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.
44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?
45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.
46 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.
There are many reasons for homelessness. Mental illness, falling through the aid crack, end of unemployment benefits, estrangement from families, being totally alone in the world. 
One man I found out about was a bank executive, and he was made redundant towards the end of his career. He was too old for a re-hire and could not find work for rent payments. Another man was an alcoholic and he was alone and could not afford help.
A woman has a history of trauma and no government program covered her as she had no fixed address and did not have the ability to fill out forms.
Christ is among us. 
As a Baby, He was rejected by His Own people. He is still rejected. Two of these photos are from Dublin and London, socialist countries supposedly caring about those who have-not. Now, some people are professional beggars, but one can tell the difference.
For three days, in the rain, I passed a man in down town Dublin who was wrapped up in a sleeping bag. He is not, like some, a professional beggar who could be working.
What did St. Joseph feel like when he had to bring his holy wife to a stable and witness the birth of the God-Man in a filthy stable? I am sure people passed them by, as they were poor, and probably smelled bad not having the ability to wash and being around animals.
Do not kid yourselves as to the abject poverty Christ allowed Himself to suffer for our sakes. Do not believe the new, liberal interpretation that Mary and Joseph were in the middle-class. That class did not exist in the ancient Holy Land. There were only the rich and the poor. Jesus was poor.
He is God. 
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. Philippians 2:7 DR