Memorial of Saint Ambrose
Isaiah and Matthew both speak of loss for those who do not build on a foundation of trust in God. Isaiah describes the type of reversal – the upsetting of assumptions and business-as-usual – that we’ve come to expect from God. How striking that the needy poor are the ones to tread upon the lofty city brought low by God! How do we picture our clients in this prophecy? I suspect that many of those I serve know how to do without and are more skilled at weathering disruptions. I struggled when the circuit in the lunchroom was out this morning and the coffee maker wouldn’t work. My chances of weathering a storm don’t look so good.
As I read of Jesus in Matthew’s telling, these questions arise: In whom do we trust? Do I count on others to care for those God has put before me? Do I rely on public agencies for the heavy lifting? Does my care differ from those agencies?
Daniel called this morning. We’ve seen him before. Daniel is a disabled vet who lives alone, says his car is broken down, there is no food in the house, but proclaims his sobriety for 14 years. He says memory troubles make it difficult to keep his utilities current. He says he pays his bills, but the utility company shows otherwise. I have some resources to offer, and together with his own funds later on this week, we can keep his services connected. I can hear Daniel’s challenge to keep going when each struggle is replaced by another. He relies on others to keep the pieces of his life from falling apart. This is a sacred responsibility for us; we are the “others” for Daniel. Is he right to trust in us as a house built solidly on God? On whom do I rely as I answer the phone call of another anxious client? May we all make a turn to God as each client approaches.
Scott Cooper has served with Catholic Charities Spokane for almost 18 years. His family has recently found a new faith community at Sacred Heart Parish in Spokane.
2017 Advent Reflections
During the Advent season, CCUSA offers reflections on each day’s Mass readings. The reflections are authored by Catholic Charities employees and other social concerns ministers who have a connection to Catholic Charities. The reflections will arrive by email first thing each morning. Sign up here to receive them.