Following on the eloquent statement of our Christian duty in regard to the present refugee crisis in Europe made by Fr Bradley at the School Mass ten days ago, the challenge was taken a step further this week by Fr Rector. In his homily last Sunday (13th) he recalled the appeal of Pope Francis to all parts of the Christian Churches – dioceses, parishes, religious communities, households – to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters on their road to Jericho. In the context of St James’ letter: Prove your Faith to me by showing me your good deeds, Fr Sheil recalled the appeal of Pope Francis…
Faced with the present crisis of the human suffering of almost countless thousands of refugees fleeing from danger in their homelands – as they risk life and limb in appalling conditions on land and at sea – Pope Francis, Christlike, asks us: Who do you say these people are? Do you see Me in each face of a suffering refugee? And he reminds us of what Christ says: As long as you did it to one of these least of My brothers and sisters – you did it to Me!
We as a Community – as a Family – in CWC cannot claim to have Faith and just stand idly by and hope that someone else will look after them for us. As Fr Bradley said last week, every time we approach the Table of the Lord’s Eucharist we are challenged to live out the consequences of accepting to be nourished here, and to be counted among the blessed who are called to the Supper of the Lamb. So what are we going to do – here-and-now – concretely and upfront? In his Spiritual Exercises St Ignatius leads the retreatant to ask him/herself a triple question: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ? Today – how do we – how do I – answer these questions?
Let us find ways of responding to the appeal from Pope Francis without delay – encourage each other to be imaginative and generous – and let our Faith find expression in doing something real and concrete. Let our leaders lead – and let each of us courageously follow. As we unite in offering ourselves to the Father with Christ – let us ask for the grace to go the extra mile – for and with our brothers and sisters.
Fr Sheil has outlined one line of response by the Clongowes Community – a small gesture perhaps – but one which could mean so much the beneficiaries. The Jesuits propose to make available Cappolis Lodge [the little house opposite the entrance to the golf course – pictured above] for a refugee family until such time as they can get established in Ireland. And afterwards, he continued, together we can surely find ways of making them feel welcome – belonging – contributing to our Family of CWC – and so giving back to them their basic human dignity as children of God which so many may feel they have lost.
The full text of Fr Sheil’s Homily may be read here