WHAT DO YOU CELEBRATE?
This weekend we celebrate another July 4th. What do you celebrate? When I attend a concert and they have all the veterans stand up, I applaud, admire and thank them. I didn’t have to go to the Vietnam War; I was in the seminary and didn’t have to go. I have never been the victim of any real kind of prejudice. I ache for those of Color who have. I never had to beg or fight to be a citizen, it was given to me. I pray for all those hoping and praying to become citizens so they can give their children safety and a chance at a better life.
So, what do I celebrate on the 4th? I celebrate you who are so committed to helping those who are less fortunate. I am so inspired by the Ladies of Charity, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the churches and parishes, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and countless individuals who are always open to the poor. You who deliver food, who work in food pantries; you who donate numerous times to causes that protect children, give comfort to those who are alienated; you who visit the sick; you who work to end homelessness; you who believe in everyone!
Just like the soldier who fights not just for his own country but that all people will experience Peace…One of my favorite lines to reflect upon and use as a starting point for a homily is from Jesse Jackson who said, “Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up.” I don’t have any sparklers to light for all of you…But I will light a candle in front of our statue of St. Vincent de Paul and I will celebrate YOU!