Why not take some time to reflect upon Sunday’s Gospel with your class?
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
An insomniac’s best friend is without a doubt the BBC World Service. Along with Radio 4 extra they accompany me through many broken nights sleep and allow me to listen to some high quality programmes that I would not have time to listen to during the day. At the end of the holidays, I heard an excellent program entitled “The Truth about Britain’s Beggars,” presented by an expert in homelessness called Mark Johnston. The difficulty with this program was it wakened me up rather than helping me sleep. Johnston is an expert not because he has degree in sociology but because he was once homeless and begged on Britain’s streets. He was imprisoned for begging but was able to turn his life round and now works trying to enable others to do the same.
The life of the homeless must be pretty awful and yet councils and agencies discourage us from giving to them. Papers publish stories proclaiming a city beggar makes £200 a day, that some drive away in BMW’s or other prestige cars.
Johnston deals with the myth of the fake beggar and pleads with us to give even a few coppers without judgement.
One sentence in the midst of Mark’s gospel could easily be overlooked especially as he teaches on sin.
If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
We are so good and generous at helping the poor in far off places, collection after collection proves that. Now more than for a long time the poor are not just those in other countries. The poor are on the streets of all our cities, present in all our parishes too.
I think we need to listen to the Mark Johnston’s of our time who know what it is to sleep on the streets, to beg in our cities and do something to make their lives that bit more bearable. Christ is present to us in the poor; I do not want to pass him by.