1996 Aug 4 – 18th Sun. Ord. (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle A 18th Sun Ord
Mt 14, 13-21
“When he disembarked and saw the vast throng, his heart was moved with compassion.” Matt 14:14
This week’s Gospel is Matthew’s account of Jesus’s multiplication of the loaves. We are told, at the beginning that Jesus had just received word of the beheading of John the Baptizer. He left town looking for a “deserted place” to be by himself. John the Baptizer was his friend and cousin. They shared the same spirit for a radical reform of the Jewish people. If the authorities could kill John the Baptizer, a popular preacher and social critic, then they could just as easily kill Jesus too. This reality was not lost on Jesus. Jesus understandably wanted to get out of the public spot light and reassess his whole program.
But the crowds of people would not let him alone. They followed Jesus right out of town and all the way to the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus than got into a boat to get away from the perusing crowds.
Why did Jesus not continue his escape from the crowds in the boat? The text says once he disembarked, he looked back and saw the vast number of people following him and “his heart was moved with compassion”. It was for his compassion for the crowd that Jesus did not sail away.
What is “compassion”? The English word means “feeling with”. The more descriptive Greek original contains a gut image. It suggests a churning of one’s innards; it means to embrace with your insides the feeling and situation of another. Walter Brueggemann, a favorite scripture scholar of mine calls compassion the internalization of another’s hurt. “Thus, Jesus embraces the hurt that the marginal ones know by taking it into his own person and his own history? (Brueggemann.)
Once Jesus stopped his personal retreat and com- passionately embrace the needy crowd, he did what came naturally for him, he cured their sick and treating the whole crowd to a free lunch. And in doing so, he showed his disciples that they too are called to be compassionate towards all people, especially the poor and to do whatever is in their means to meet their needs.
Another important lesson from today’s Gospel story is that if we give freely what little we have to meet the needs of others, God will make up the difference between our inadequate resources and the awesome needs of hurting people.
96 08 04
Solidarity Prayer Service For Burned Southern Ch’s
Sunday / Aug. 18
Methodist Ch. in Milo
In response to the burning of churches, especially Black churches in the Southern USA, the Youth Bible Study group of the Methodist Ch. in Milo along with other students from S.E. Warren Co. church’s are leading at Solidarity Prayer Service For Burned Southern Churches, Sun. Aug. 18, at 7:00 p.m. at the Methodist Ch. in Milo.
In a letter sent to area churches, the planners wrote, “ There have been almost 40 predominately black churches burned within the last 18 months in the USA. Because of this we felt our churches (S.E. Warren Co.) should get together for a service where an offering can be taken for these churches to rebuild and buy supplies. We believe that doing this follows the teaching of Jesus in the Beatitudes to be peacemakers.”
You know, we don’t have to leave Warren County to find signs of the kind of blatant racism that the burning of black churches represent. Last Spring, around graduation time I remember seeing the letters KKK spray painted on a number of road signs in our school district. I can remember the strong negative feelings I felt in my gut when I first saw these KKK painted road signs. I wondered what sad human being did this prank? Could they possibly know the pain and ugly evil those letters represent to so many people in this country, especially black people?
I never did anything at the time except to raise the issue with a few other individuals. I figured the proper authorities and school officials would take care of the matter. The graffiti was removed and I didn’t hear much more about the incident. What ever steps were taken, they were done out side the public view. And maybe that is the best way to handle such pranks. Too much attention given to such acts, is the very thing the perpetrators seek.
Still, the whole incident left me with a feeling that I should have done something at the time to voice my discontent about the sign paintings.
Now these young people are giving us an avenue to publicly express our outrageous of the burning of Black Churches and of the rise of racist sentiments in our community.
Let me suggest that attending the Aug. 18th Solidarity Prayer Services For The Burned Southern Churches at the Methodist Ch. is not only a good way to show our support to Black congregations who have lost their church buildings, it is also a good way to show publicly our collective aversion to the evils of racism, where ever they may be, even in S.E. Warren Co.
I know how busy everyone is at this time in the Summer. But please seriously consider attending this important special prayer service.
96 08 04
Official Invitation to the Des Moines C.W. Community’s 20th Anniversary Celebration
Greetings good friends from Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co
You are cordially invited to join us on the weekend of August 23 – 25 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community.
It was exactly twenty years ago August 23, 1976 that Frank Cordaro and Joe DaVia spent their first night in the first Catholic Worker house on Indiana St. Since than literally, thousands of people have come through the Des Moines Catholic Worker doors seeking and finding the food, cloths and shelter.
We are happy to announce that Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister of the Jonah House in Baltimore, MD will be our guest speakers, Friday night August 23rd. The topic of their talk, “Faith Family and Resistance”. Phil and Liz have lived at Jonah House and raised their three children, all the while doing resistance and peace and justice work for the past twenty odd years. Both are part of the Plowshares Movement and have done extended time in prison.
We are also excited to announce that we will be celebrating the marriage of Carla Dawson and Richard Ngamo, two D.M. C.W. community members, Saturday afternoon, August 24th.The whole weekend promises to be a very special time. We hope you can join us!
All of the below events are open to the public. Free will Offerings will be asked at all events.
Schedule of Events
– unless otherwise stated, all of the below will take place at the DMCW-
Friday 7:00 p.m. Phil Berrigan & Liz McAlister speaking at Trinity Methodist Church, 8th and College, Des Moines, two blocks north of the D.M.C.W.
Saturday 2:00 p.m. Carla Dawson and Richard Ngamo’s Marriage Ceremony
3:00 p.m. Open House – All Three C.W. Houses
7:00 p.m. Concert with Relative Minor, the ultra hip Catholic Worker Band from the Anathoth Community in Luck, WI. at Gatchel United Methodist Ch., 1909 Harding Rd. D.M.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. Brunch – Vacant lot next to Dingman C.W. House
12:30 p.m. Liturgy – Vacant lot next to Dingman C.W. House
For More Information call : The Des Moines Catholic Worker (515) 243-0765
Bp. Dingman C.W. House – 1310 – 7th St. / Msgr. Ligutti C.W. House – 1301 – 8th St. /Lazarus C.W. House – 1317 – 8th St.
96 08 04
“An Open Discussion for Reform Minded Catholics” with Robert Ludwig
When: Saturday August 17th
Time: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Friends Meeting House, 4211 Grand Ave., Des Moines
Iowa Call To Action is hosting an open discussion with Robert Ludwig for any interested reform minded Catholics regarding the reform movements in the Catholic Church, “Where we’re at, where we need to go and what we need to do, to get there.” Robert Ludwig is a member of the National Call To Action Board. He is the Director of Ministry at De Paul University in Chicago and author of the book, Reconstructing Catholism for a New Generation (Crossroad, 1995). Bob is also the brother of Fr. John Ludwig, the pastor of the Drake Newman Parish in Des Moines and a good friend of the Des Moines Catholic Worker.
For more information about this event and the Iowa Call To Action contact:
Fr. Frank Cordaro – (515) 534-4691