Greatest man in history named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they call Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime yet they crucified Him. They buried Him in a tomb, yet He lives today. Jesus is your friend.
It is easy, it seems to me, to be overwhelmed these days with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and all the suffering and death innocent people are experiencing. We are preparing for Holy Week as I write this which reminds me of the unjust persecution and killing of Jesus—more suffering and death of an innocent man. His crime was his extraordinary success as a preacher, teacher, and healer. He told us to love the poor and modeled the way. The lesson lives on today.
Fr. Vitaliy Novak from Depaul Ukraine spoke about our work delivering aid to vulnerable people living in Kharkiv’s bomb shelters. Now, many of the service users who relied on Depaul Ukraine to protect them from homelessness before the war are coming to the aid of people in underground shelters. Vitaliy says:
“Even our clients, the homeless people who were already living in our shelter before the war, have now discovered there are people in bigger need than them because they have a shelter. These guys have organized and they have started to cook the soup daily and bring it to mothers and babies in one metro station which is very close to our shelter. This is fantastic. For me these are miracles, this is people trying to help people.” Christ lives on.
Fr. J. Patrick Murphy, C.M., Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Public Service at DePaul University and Values Director for Depaul International, an organization that serves homeless people in seven countries.