Our Lady of the Rosary

Have you ever broken down by the side of the road, and needed assistance? No matter what our likes and dislikes among people are, these are not questions we ask when we are in need. Recently, I was in a car that ran out of gas, on the edges of a prosperous mountain town. SUV after SUV, van after van came by, pickup trucks with machines in them that would require gas cans, but no one offered to help.

One of my companions went in search of a gas station, and was soon driven back to our car by two sturdy country ladies – who were Jehovah’s Witnesses. My companion had told them we were a Catholic priest, a deacon and a theology professor – and these ladies, part of a community not notoriously friendly to Catholicism, simply said: we want to help anyone who is working for God.

Recently, Pope Francis has been insisting on  the same point. We have many issues that are neuralgic for us, even as there are people – or classes or types of people – that “drive us nuts.” And yet, the Gospel is crystal clear that none of this ultimately matters. What matters is helping the human being in need, as our new friends the Jehovah’s Witnesses did, as the Good Samaritan did. As the Son of God did, when He came into our crazy world, and travelled its roads, and gave His life for sinners.

October 7th, 2013