The face of God

“You are like light for the whole world. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14, 16 Good News Bible).

Economic challenges

NBC’s Nov. 4, 2008, election night broadcast reported 71 percent of voters polled responded the economy was their primary concern. Amid the housing foreclosure crisis and the Wall Street meltdown, it is not surprising “Main Street America” voted in impressive numbers to elect the 111th Congress to ensure their economic concerns are addressed.

The current economic crisis has had a significant negative impact on Maryland’s African-American community. It is anticipated that by 2009, African-Americans will lose almost $419 million in assets. Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, Baltimore City and parts of the Eastern Shore have the highest percentage of home ownership foreclosure among African-Americans.

African-Americans are concerned about “Main Street” and the plight of people that must navigate America’s “Mean Street.” The popular wisdom in the African-American community is “when white America has a cold, black America has pneumonia!” There is a belief working and poor people tend to be under-housed at best and at worst they are homeless.

Face of God

Big Mama Love, the matriarch of the family, places the biggest pot in the house on the stove in order to prepare soup. Caringly she adds the last piece of meat in her refrigerator, a smoked turkey neck, to the water. After about an hour and a half she adds leftovers to the soup. As the cinnamon pepper fragrance of the soup permeates the house, Big Mama Love hears a neighbor lost his temporary minimum-wage job. Somehow she understands the neighbor will be hungry for a cup of soup and a kind, understanding face. Humbly, Big Mama Love adds another cup of water to the soup in preparation for another to join the evening meal.

Jesus the Light of the World

During this Advent season, we are called to prepare our hearts and minds for the sacred celebration of Christmas. The Light of the World was born on Christmas day to fulfill God’s promise of reconciliation through salvation.

Jesus, the Light of the World:

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.