At the halfway point in the Good News People program, participants set out into the community to see the works of mercy in action. St. Raphael parishioners taking part in the faith-sharing program divided into several smaller groups to immerse ourselves in the work of various ministries in our area that are serving the needy. We met with those who serve and those being served. We witnessed the work being done. When we shared what we found, it was clear that everyone was amazed at what we had seen and heard. We saw mercy in action!
Shepherd’s Table – a soup kitchen that feeds the hungry
Pardoned by Christ – a ministry to those who have been or are in prison
Ronald McDonald house – a nonprofit helping families of hospitalized children
Healing Transitions – provides shelter/healing for homeless people who suffer from addictions
Door Ministry – helps people to avoid becoming homeless
Families Together – helps secure housing and support for homeless families
St. Joseph’s Health Care – provides lower-cost health care for the sick
City of Oaks Funeral Home – a business guided by Christian ethics providing lower-cost funeral service and charitable assistance
Family Support Circles – a Catholic Charities program providing a year of mentoring through support circles
Catholic Parish Outreach – provides food, clothing and other services to needy
Table – provides food and mentoring for hungry children
The people we met shared stories and gratitude. “Miracles are happening here.” “I love this place. It gave me a second chance.” “I feel so much love here.” Also, some requests. “We could use more Catholics here for Bible Study.”
The dictionary defines epiphany as “an appearance or manifestation, especially of a divine being.” A manifestation is “an event or action that clearly embodies something, especially an abstract idea.” The magi took action to follow the star and found Jesus. In a similar way, the Good News people went on a journey and found Jesus right here in our community. We saw everyday people doing incredible things, often in small ways: “I always thought of the homeless as being ‘others’; now, I realize they’re just like me.” It was inspiring to see folks gathering for a common purpose and making lives better through Christian love.
“For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.”(Psalm 72:12-13)