by Jonabel Cabasal
I think we could all agree that 2020 was a difficult and trying year, with jobs and businesses being lost on a weekly basis and tragedies of suicide actually exceeding the losses from COVID-19. It’s time we count our blessings and check on our family, friends, neighbours and those who have neither of those. I speak of the less fortunate and by no fault of their own, homeless in our city. The pandemic has turned an already existing problem into a fast growing and dire situation. The city has stepped in to temporarily shelter our less fortunate but this is like applying a band-aid to a serious wound.
We are told throughout our lives by clergy of all faiths to help those less fortunate lest you find yourself in similar circumstances one day. One only needs to visit often frequented streets in our city centre areas to witness the makeshift tarp shelters to get a sense of the desperate situation of thousands in our city. I implore you to donate to your local shelters and various aid organizations. To be a humanitarian by action, and not just with words this year.
Mustard Seed and the Hope Mission are just two main examples that do God’s glorious work on the front lines. Be the example to your family, friends, church and society.
I leave you with one small quote from the Christian Bible, but there are many from all faiths. Love is universal and is what makes us human.
7 “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. 9 Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly[a] on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’