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A Heart For Humanity

Last month, one of our young adult parishioners sent me an e-mail update on her current activities in Arizona.  In addition to getting adjusted to being away from home for the first time and not being able to get home on short notice, she was adjusting to living with virtual strangers.  What helped her transition is her involvement in assisting others in making a better life for themselves.  She is doing that through the organization Habitat for Humanity. 

If you are not aware, Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical “ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action.  Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety.”  Volunteers from all walks of life do their part in actually building homes.

From a Christian perspective, Holy Scriptures entreats us: “Our love must not be just words; it must be true love which shows itself in action.” (1 John 3:18).  Making better communities a reality for everyone is no easy task, but certainly doable.

Doing something tangible to help others in need is undoubtedly a hallmark for most people of faith.  Putting faith into action, giving concrete expression to the love of God throughout the world by helping to eliminate poverty is clearly one way we can do our part to make this world a more livable place.  I do believe when people act in response to human need, giving what they have without seeking profit or interest, God multiplies the small effects of our efforts to accomplish the gigantic. 

Of course, one does not have to travel miles to accomplish some of the same goals my young parishioner did; we have many such opportunities right here on Long Island.  The key being how can we move out of our comfort zones and be of service to others in ways that we may not have thought possible. 

Your parishes, mosques, synagogues, all have programs founded on common ground that bridges theological differences: serving others in the name of the Lord, helping to make outreach and generosity a reflection of love made visible.  To me, that sounds like a recipe for improving the world in which we live.

Rev. Cn. Richard Visconti


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