I. Do We Have the Responsibility for the Poor? The 16th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, which we read from this Sunday to the next, is focused on the proper use of wealth and the unjust distribution of goods between the very rich and very poor. This chapter is complemented perfectly in our first Scripture reading this week by the prophet Amos (8:4-7), who was called from the southern kingdom of Judah to prophesy against the northern kingdom of Israel. And what was Israel’s most prominent offense? The callous mistreatment of the poor by the rich. In today’s reading, Amos rattles off the crimes of the wealthy Israelite who cheat the poor and then proclaims, “The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: never will I forget a thing they have done!”
II. Moneyless Healers: Cosmas and Damian (c. 287) were brothers, possibly twins, who practiced medicine without accepting money for their services. They became known in the East as the “moneyless ones” or “moneyless healers.” As vibrant witnesses to the Christian faith, they were arrested during the Diocletian persecutions. When they refused to renounce their faith and engage in idolatrous worship, they were beheaded and cast into the sea. They are patron saints of twins, the sightless, and many medical professions (physicians, nurses, medical assistants, dentists, etc.). I recognize and respect so many in the medical profession who minister to the poor and needy without regard to cost (often using a sliding scale). We celebrate their feast on Thursday, September 26. (The Diocese will celebrate all those in the medical profession on Sunday, November 3, 2019, at 2:00pm here at the Cathedral, during the Annual White Mass. The Bishop will celebrate Mass to honor all those who give long hours to education and training to serve and to heal the sick).
III. Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), a French priest, gradually became aware of the growing disparity between the rich and the poor; therefore, he laid the framework for the Servants of the Poor, which provided for the physical needs of the poor. Recognizing the call to care for their physical AND spiritual needs, he established a society of priests, the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), dedicated to the preaching to peasants, catechizing the marginalized, and performing other charitable works. In collaboration with Louise Montfort de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity, a new community of sisters not bound by traditional vows or enclosure who are devoted to the sick, orphaned, and imprisoned. Vincent is the patron saint of charitable societies. Many day care centers, hospitals, thrift stores, and soup kitchens are named in his honor. You are invited to celebrate the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul on Friday, September 27 at the 7:00am or 12:05pm Mass.
IV. Our own St. Vincent de Paul Outreach: I wish to thank those that serve as volunteers to meet with clients for financial assistance and those who work behind the scenes pulling data and inputting data: We will honor our Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society this Friday, September 27th, at the noon Mass. Thank you to Harry Bellew, Peggy Bellew, Larry Lyon, Linda Beam, Bob Berry, John Hein, Richard Remp-Morris, D. J. Clark, Bill Goetz, Bill Lanham, Bob Mahoney, Bill McCarty, Pat McNulty, Mary Ann Medley, Jess and Nora Mattingly, Denise Payne, Florence Wieder, Gene Schadler, Kathi Skidd, Marianna Robinson, Amy Payne, Richard Gruenewald, Bill and Shannon Wright, Judy Osborne, Margaret Windle, Eva Stone, Martha House, Bill Kelley, Linda Beckman, Pam Weafer, Donna Duffy, Dottie Riney, Mary Riney and Karen Jarboe. Also, Fr. Sinoj who “shepherds” this flock as Chaplain.
V. Fall Clean-up Day! Grab your work clothes, tools, and gloves and your appetite this Saturday, September 28th, 8:00am-12noon. We’ll begin with breakfast in the parish office then head out for a morning of sprucing up our campus.