With the visit of Pope Francis to the United States this last week, I was interested to hear some of his message contents to our country.
It was amazing to me to see the millions of people that made their way to each of the cities where the pope visited. His physical presence touched the lives of so many. His compassion for children and young people was touching and his challenge to families to support and work together through all difficulties was encouraging to me.
In one of his sermons he challenged all Americans to become involved in the lives of others, rather than just focusing on ourselves, as we so often do. His question of “What about you?” resonated with me. His idea of reaching out into our communities and helping in every way possible is to be a daily involvement not just at critical times.
True, we are definitely a country that when tragedy arises, we flock in droves to help. We give our finances, our time, our food and supplies, but then we have a tendency to sit back and go our separate ways again. I look at the homeless, the drug addicts, the sick, and the poor that we have right here in our own country and can’t help but wonder why. We are one of the richest and most productive countries in the world and yet we have multiple problems right under our noses. Where are our priorities? Am I doing what I should to help? Are we truly reaching out to those in need? Or are we just ignoring the problems, hoping they will resolve themselves or go away?
I’m not laying the blame on anyone, but when our politicians and leaders find petty things to argue about and spend limitless time researching and laying aside or covering up issues that are meaningless, I’m afraid the time is near at hand that we will pay the consequences for our actions. But the challenge is not about them. It is about each of us personally. Are we doing our part to reach others and make a difference? A cup of cold water in Christ’s name is what is needed. Let us become more aware of the needs of others and respond.
Audrey B. Unruh is a local columnist, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org