28th Sunday in Ordinary Time 12 October 2014

Certainly, each of us had known misfortune at some point in our lives and misfortune can be disruptive…to say the least. None of us enjoys being inconvenienced by the occurrence of the unexpected or unplanned. Alas, it is a part of life and what we do with it either makes or breaks us. I, for the purpose of this column, would like to focus on how it makes us. All politics aside but in February of 1996, former First Lady and former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton released a book entitled, “It takes a Village.” That is the only thing that I want to focus on, namely, the title. It takes a Village. The phrase evokes in my mind the fact that everyone needs to be involved to make things works, both the good and the bad. It is completely amazing how smoothly things can happen when everyone gets involved and despite unforeseen hiccups, things can get done. I will give you an example, a few weeks ago, an Eagle Scout candidate accomplished the successful creation of a memorial garden in just two days. Now, I was able to stop by and check on the progress from time to time and even when there was a disruption, those who gathered together, i.e., “the Village,” made it happen! This 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time we continue reading from Paul’s letter to the Community at Philippi and Paul realizes that there are good times and bad times in life. He writes, “Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.” (Phil. 4.12-14) Saint Paul is grateful to those in the community that they share in his life. Paul reminds the community that “It takes a Village.” We cannot expect to suffer alone; we should not rejoice alone. A balance needs to be set whereby we give and take so that the community is able to be the stabilizing force in society. Indeed, my friends, it takes a village. It takes each and every one of us to be there to support those who are downcast and experience misfortune so that when it happens to us, they can share our burden whereby our cross is lightened.

 

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