Service Matters – 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

18 November 2013

33rd Week in Ordinary Time


A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, 

DeSales Service Works welcomes volunteers to join 

in service, prayer, and learning in our struggling neighborhood.



  •  Service Word
  •  Last Week in Camden
  •  Upcoming Events
  •  Links


 1. Service Word     Luke 23:35-43


Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,

“Are you not the Christ?

Save yourself and us.” 

The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,

“Have you no fear of God,

for you are subject to the same condemnation?

And indeed, we have been condemned justly,

for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,

but this man has done nothing criminal.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

He replied to him,

“Amen, I say to you,

today you will be with me in Paradise.”


The gospel for the Feast of Christ the King this year presents us with Luke’s picture of Jesus stretched out, naked, defeated, exposed, misunderstood, abandoned, reviled on the cross.


This could bee seen as an ironic choice of readings.   But, even in this most extreme situation, the Lord is still himself.   He is there committed to us, absolutely trusting the Father’s will.   We see him centered and even at peace amidst the anguish.


The monk St. Bruno puts it so well: “The cross stands as still point in the turning world.”    In Camden, in all the world’s troubled places, and in each of our local lives, events turn at a dizzying pace, often straining our energy and attention, our faith and values.   The image of the Lord Jesus, faithful at the center of it all on the cross, can bring us back.


The Lord’s steady goodness clearly inspired the “good thief” so that he could assess the situation clearly.   He offered strong and accurate counsel to the other criminal, and he put all his trust in the one who embodies God’s promise of life and justice—Christ our King.


-What aspects of Jesus on the cross draw your focus?

-How does St. Bruno’s motto fit your life?
-How do you handle voices of “bad thieves” and
revilement that come your way?



2. Last Week in Camden

A St. Joseph’s University Magis freshmen group worked with the grade school kids Tuesday.   Thursday and Friday Sallies homerooms were here.  Some got to continue work around the new Joseph’s House Shelter site which is surrounded by blocks overgrown with shoulder-high weeds, discarded tires, mattresses, and general trash.

Saturday Cub Scouts of the Camden Diocese, a Cristo Rey High School group, Holy Name Scholars all converged on North Camden.  The older kids helped plant 31 trees nearby on 5th Street and infront of Holy Name School.   The scouts and their parents with power tools gave Northgate Park its best fall cleaning yet.   I am not a big fan of the noise that comes from leaf blowers, but they cleared the playground like no broom can.


Friday night Guadelupe Family Services’ CASA youth program hosted a well attended gathering at the DSW volunteer house.   “Shout out” to Tim Gallagher for great leadership!



3. Upcoming Events

This week high school groups from Salesianum, Father Judge, Cristo Rey, and Georgetown Visitation all have service days here.   Students from Bishop Ireton High School will be here Thursday to Saturday.     All will get to work with the school kids and with the tall task of taming the lots and buried sidwalks that surround Joseph’s House.



4. Links

Please remember Joseph’s House director, John Klein’s son, also named John, in your prayers.   He is in hospice care after a battle with cancer.


Walsingham Academy’s campus minister Steve Delaney (grad of then Oblate Paul VI High School) has two great videos that offer a vivid picture of powerful Camden service.



Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS


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