Service Matters – Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

17 February 2014

Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Presidents’ Day

St. Fintan


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

Jesus said to his disciples:

“You have heard that it was said,

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.

When someone strikes you on your right cheek,

turn the other one as well.

If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,

hand over your cloak as well.

Should anyone press you into service for one mile,

go for two miles. 


With parts of the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, like the admonitions above, it is tempting to (respectfully) put the Lord’s words aside because they are not realistic for this world.   I don’t think there is any doubt that the Jesus uses exaggeration to make his point.   But clearly part of the point is that the deep challenge of his gospel will never finish up.  Relationship with our Lord, and Christian discipleship will never be something we can check off of our “to do list” as over and done, accomplished.


In the section quoted above, Jesus challenges you and me to utterly trust God and to act with powerfully generousity.   So often I write about the needs that are very clear in this community, but generosity and trust in God are also very evident.


Dara is a girl in the CASA  youth group sponsored by DSW partner, Guadalupe Family Services, that meets in the DeSales volunteer house.   Tim Gallagher, Lourdes Gonzalez, and Nancy Jerome lead the high school teens each Tuesday and once a month for service—in addition to countless hours of tutoring, counseling, and support.


This past Saturday Dara arrived early, ready to go.   Her dad had just dropped her brother off at school for his sports practice.   Theirs is the classic American immigrant story; new comers arriving in poverty or modest circumstances, working hard and smart, so the next generations can have an easier life.   Her Dad has a decent job, night shift.   But he is up, getting the kids to where they need to be, making the weekend count.


Dara is always one to jump in, to ask questions, to help out, to offer to clean up, to go the extra mile.   Some kids resist the service early on Saturday mornings—but many, like Dara, bring generous energy to whatever project they do.   That makes all the difference.


-Is there any situation where you see youself caught in a cycle of “eye for and eye, tooth for tooth?”

-Are you the type of person who typically goes the extra mile?

-Do you experience any times when going the extra mile means saying “no” to someone’s requests?



2. Last Week in Camden

A Salesianum School homeroom had a great day here Monday.    Snowy weather canceled other service retreats.



3. Upcoming Week

Two more Sallies homerooms are here Wednesday and Thursday.


There will be two individuals here on their own, one for the long weekend the other until the beginning of March.


This Sunday, 23 February, we are hosting an is open house 1:00 to 4:00, 522 State Street, Camden.   All are welcome.



4 Links

Each year The Department of Housing and Urban Development attempts a count of homeless people in all jurisdictions across the nation.    CNN reported on this, focusing in on Camden’s count.    Look for Bro. Mickey McGrath and me in the team administering the survey to guests of Joseph’s House.


An National Public Radio blogger writes about the connecting between prescription opiate pain killers and addiction and street drugs.    When a Prescription for Pain Pills Becomes a Gateway to Addiction.


Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS

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