Service Matters – Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

29 July 2013

Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Martha of Bethany


A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in Camden, NJ, 

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 12:13-21

“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 

He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,

for I do not have space to store my harvest?’

And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:

I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. 

There I shall store all my grain and other goods

and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,

you have so many good things stored up for many years,

rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’


There is nothing wrong with enjoying a bountiful harvest, or even expanding storage capacity.   And rest, eat, drink, be merry can describe part of well-balanced life; the other parts would include family, work, prayer, exercise, healthy diet, study, service.


The problem with the man in this parable is lack of balance; his attitude has an excessive self-focus—closed in on himself—small.


The pull of grace and maturity in human beings is all about getting us out of ourselves.   God uses all means necessary to encourage and challenge us to expand our circle of concern: “Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.”   He even commands us: “love your enemy;” “do good to those who hurt you.”


-Are there ways your experience of Camden (live or second hand) has helped expand your compassionate heart?

-Can you describe your life as balanced?  Are there elements that could use more priority?

-Is there anything you are “storing up” that would be better shared?




2. Last Week in Camden

Directed by DSW man Mike Morgan, the summer interns, Sarah, Evan, Mariannie, and Emma, had a great three weeks of community, prayer, reflection, and service in this city.   Mariannie’s  blog and the DeSales Service Works Facebook page offer vivid pictures of expanding circles of concern and comfort zones.    Saturday the inters hosted lunch and shared about accomplishments and insights.



3. Upcoming Events

Wednesday to Saturday a group of 14 students from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of DC, will serve here.



4. Links

Pope Francis’ words and actions in Brazil for World Youth Day communicated the gospel very powerfully.   This National Catholic Reporter article by writer John Allen focuses on the Pope’s frankness assessing needs and problems.


Check out Mariannie’s immigrant experience blog, part of her intern service in Camden.



Live Jesus,

Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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