Well, the Synod for the New Evangelization here in Rome is winding down. On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the closing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. On Monday, I’m coming home!
This is Friday, and I’m daydreaming . . . I admit it! Please don’t tell the Holy Father!
All our talk . . . all our ideas . . . all our discussion . . . all our proposals . . . yes, this has been valuable and will, please God, result in a credible and effective document.
But, as I sit here daydreaming, I’m looking outside the synod hall and there I see the little courtyard outside of the Donum Mariae, the shelter for homeless women here in Rome, at the corner of Vatican City, run by Blessed Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
In this little courtyard sits about two dozen abandoned women. They are now clean, in fresh clothes, and just finished a hearty breakfast. They’re smiling . . . they’re singing hymns taught them by the sisters . . . and they’re learning the rosary from one of the Missionaries of Charity.
And I’m sitting here thinking . . . Those sisters are brilliantly doing the New Evangelization. They haven’t been listening to our debates, and may or may not even read our propositions, or the ultimate document.
But they sure understand the imperative of the New Evangelization. They probably say to us, “What’s all the fuss? Just love God and the ‘least of these’ as Jesus taught.”
I salute not only those sisters whom I now look out on with love and gratitude, but also all of you in your homes and families, around kitchen tables, in our parishes, schools, and classrooms, in our shelters, soup kitchens, healthcare facilities and residences, whose faith in Jesus and love for His Church inspire you daily.
We bishops can learn a lot about the New Evangelization from people like you!
See you Monday!