I. The Paradox of Reception: each of us, most likely, has different perceptions about migrants/refugees. I find it most interesting that the six wealthiest countries in the world received only 9% of the migrants and, in stark contrast, six of the poorest countries received more than 50+%. So, USA, China, Japan, Germany, France in the UK received less than 9% of the 65 million people fleeing to escape war, abuse, violence, and property. On the contrary, six of the poorest countries–Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, South Africa, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories on the West Bank– which represent less than 2% of the global economy–have received over 11.9 million men, women, and children.
World leaders have been called upon to guarantee safety, protection, dignity, and a future to the millions of people forced to leave everything behind. Overall, the response to the greatest humanitarian emergency since the World War II is still inadequate and unsatisfactory. This messy crisis and monumental challenge demands a faith response.
II. Security? In this life, what do we need? Food, clothing, and shelter readily come to mind. It’s easy to confuse wants with needs, greed with security. Our Gospel this weekend (Luke 12:13-21) challenge us to evaluate possessions, pursuits, and priorities. We are reminded how fleeting the things of this world really are, and how easy it is to have a false sense of security in ourselves and our possessions. In both this world and the next, our ultimate security can be found only in GOD, in FAITH. What do I/you need to clean out of my/your “barn” to make more room for God? The more room in our “barn” for things of God, the more secure we become in God alone, the more surely we secure our total inheritance–eternal Life.
III. Lawyer Losing Legal Case Changes His Ways: Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) had a successful career as a lawyer, but lost a legal case which he believed to be a sign from God that he should change his ways and study for the priesthood. He founded a community of priests, known as Redemptorists, dedicated to preaching, hearing confessions, and celebrating Sacraments. One of his most important contributions to the Church would be his insights into the area of moral theology. Because of his prolific writing and leadership, Saint Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church and is recognized as one of the greatest moral theologians in Church history. As a significant piece of information, I was Baptized, Eucharisted, and Confirmed at the Church of Saint Alphonsus in St. Joseph, Kentucky! As we celebrate this Feast of Saint Alphonsus on Monday, August 1st, let’s remember the people St. Alphonsus Parish, and their pastor, Fr. Ray Goetz.
IV. A family wedding! Weddings are a wonderful time for family and friends to gather around this Sacrament of Unity, to reconnect, bond, and celebrate! It is a joy for me to witness the marriage of my nephew and godchild, Christopher Joseph Riney, to Rachel Fahey Chitwood, on Saturday, August 6th at St. Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville.