March 2020
Reflections of God's Goodness

As we grew up, we were all formed by our families, our faith and our communities. Much of our world view and how we treat others is learned there. That was true for Jesus as well.  He grew up in a good Jewish home, where the Hebrew Scriptures were taught and lived. 

Remember when Jesus visited His hometown and read in the synagogue?  He used Scripture to explain why He came, and He knew right where to find the reading in Isaiah.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord ." 

In His ministry, Jesus repeatedly reached out to the poor and the outcasts: women, Samaritans, lepers, children, prostitutes and tax collectors. He accepted everyone, the rich and the poor.

There is so much more that could be said about what Jesus said and did, but I think we can all agree that the mandate to care for the poor among us is clear.

“If someone who has worldly means sees a brother {or sister} in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth ."

Certainly, writing a check, especially to organizations like Catholic Charities, helps the poor in our neighborhoods and around the world.  Is it enough to write a check?

I believe God had more in mind. I think He wanted each of us to experience the blessings in giving to a person in need, whether it’s food, or a smile, or a listening ear.

Lent seems a perfect time to intentionally get out of your comfort zone!  Do you know someone personally who is poor? What about that homeless man begging on the corner – you could keep homeless bags in your car filled with a tarp, food, water, or whatever makes sense to you.  Give your ear and attention to the lonely woman who talks to you in the grocery store. Offer help to the young mom struggling to handle three small children while getting groceries to her car. Do you have a neighbor you do not know? Think of ways to reach out.

Open your eyes and ears this Lent and look for opportunities to “encounter” the poor.  Let them know they matter; let God’s love shine through you. 

Blessings and peace,



Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN

“The Good News is that God still loves the world through each one of you. You are God's good news, you are God's love in action.”

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