My colleagues in Hope…
This Thanksgiving’s Eve I’d like to share with you a blessing that has become one of my favorites over the years. Whether you are a person of faith or a person of good will, we are all united by the sentiment of this piece in our day-to-day work.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you will
live deep in your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression
and exploitation of people and the earth so that you will
work for justice, equality and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who
suffer so you will reach out your hand to comfort them
and change their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with the foolishness to think
that you can make a difference in the world, so you will
do things which others say cannot be done.
As you sit down the celebrate the upcoming holiday with your loved ones, I invite you to join me in giving thanks for our common “foolishness” to think that we are making a difference for a single mother who, as a result of our efforts, can provide a place where her children can learn, grow and succeed; that we are making a difference in the life of a senior citizen who, as a result of our efforts, has a safe place to rest after a lifetime of hard work; that we are making a difference in the life of a person much of the world had forgotten… a person who may have spent last Thanksgiving on the streets, cold and alone. But this year, a person for whom Mercy Housing serves not just as a source of shelter and stability, but a place of renewed hope and possibility.
Because, indeed, we are not foolish to think that we can make a difference in this world. We ARE making a difference. That is something we can be profoundly thankful for this holiday season.
Others may say that our mission is too lofty to achieve. Others may say that homelessness is too big a problem to solve. We know they are wrong. It is a long road we have chosen to travel, together. And this work is hard. But for every person who will spend the holiday surrounded by family and neighbors in a Mercy Housing home, you are a blessing.
Tomorrow, I give thanks for the opportunity to work alongside all of you who, each day, live deeply inside your heart… all of you who, each day, work for justice, equality and peace… all of you who, each day, strive to change pain into joy. I give thanks for all of you who are doing things others said could not be done.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and to everyone you love!
Live in Hope.
Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM
CEO, Mercy Housing