Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 28, 2022: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1) Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29 Psalm 68:4-7, 10-11
2) Heb 12:18-19, 22-24 Gospel: Lk 14:1, 7-14
God intends for all of us to have a home
In today’s psalm response, we sing about God’s homemaking. “God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.”
In the biblical and Christian tradition, no home-related title for God has ever developed. But to call God “Homemaker” would be entirely appropriate. He sustains the immense universe in which Earth has come into existence and has become home for all of us. Beyond this, God himself will ultimately be our home. He will gather us into himself. In him we will live together in endless light.
In the great Homemaker’s creation, however, not everyone has a home. An elderly man named Raymond died recently in my town. For decades he had spent his days and nights in a bus shelter, a post office lobby and other nonhabitable places. He was made homeless by some disturbance of mind and resisted help, although he would accept the offer of a cup of coffee or meal.
Other people are made homeless by changes in the portion of Earth where they live. Their pastureland has dried out. Their fields have been inundated by the rising sea.
Violence drives many people from their homes. So also, but less dramatically, does a cascade of unemployment, medical expenses and rising rent.
So many who have become homeless!
In today’s psalm we celebrate the fact that God makes a home for the poor. Often, however, his intentions for the homeless are stymied by our failure to participate in what he wants to do. We are paralyzed by the difficulties involved in aiding the Raymonds of our town.
We are less than enthusiastic about finding homes for those who have become homeless by changes in the climate or violence or economic inequality. We would like them to stay away from us. We would prefer that God would find homes for them somewhere else than in our country, our neighborhood.
And yet, here we are at Mass, entering into communion with the great Homemaker.
So many tangled issues here — some of them in our hearts!
Is there a starting point for action? Two suggestions. First, take a few minutes to read what the bishops, on behalf of Christ, have been saying to us about migrants and refugees (https://www.usccb.org/committees/migration/immigration). Second, contact your local Catholic Charities office and explore ways you might make a contribution to alleviating homelessness in your town.
Perrotta is the editor and an author of the “Six Weeks With the Bible” series, teaches part time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.