Seize the opportunity of ‘kindness’

Fr. Tom Glennon
March 18, 2011

The shouting and cursing could be heard from the rear of the building.

I went to the window to witness the security guard roaring at the homeless man sleeping on the ground.

E-Journey through Lent

Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, is celebrated nine months before the birth of Jesus. It is sometimes call Lady Day, one of the four quarter days for legal purposes. Mary is called to make sacrifices for her son, part of the constant fast mothers make in caring for their children.

Read the prayer | More Prayers | More Reflections

The corner of the lot held a rickety fence and a tottering tree.

The sleepy man slowly got off his makeshift night-time dozing spot.

All the while, the security guard from the nearby university continued his tirade of obscenities and threat.

The man gathered his tattered belongings and squeezed through the gap in the chain link fence. He landed in the public alleyway behind the Columban mission center in Chicago.

I went out to talk with him.

Recently, released from prison, this gentleman had found himself homeless.

He admitted the fight with his sister’s abusive boyfriend. Somehow during that scuffle, the boyfriend died.  Self-defense.  No, the courts decided that it was murder.

My new brother in the alley served 16 years in prison.

I provided him with food and spoke about some options available in Chicago to assist in getting re-adjusted to society in the city.

While rolling up his bedroll, the gentleman expressed sincere gratitude.

“I will remember this kindness” he said.

Jesus reminds us to remember those who are less fortunate. Matthew’s Gospel reminds us to visit the prisoners.

Lent is a time to seize the opportunities to reach out to those in need.