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Message from Fr. Rob


It is one of the most gut-wrenching moments I’ve ever seen on the television news:

“Can you help me?”

A 10-year-old boy, all alone in a desert area of South Texas that looks like the Mars landscape.

He has been abandoned by a group of people seeking asylum as the border crossings have

multitudes of people walking north from terror in Central America.

He looks exhausted; wet from the overnight dew; and has that “thousand-yard stare” that most

of us associate with soldiers after their first combat experience.

“I was with a group, but they abandoned me…”.

The face of the needy is often ignored or lost by our indifference or blindness. One notable tv

talk hour personality has stepped over the line by his callous “I’m going to identify as Chinese”,

when he is anything but Asian.




And this coming from a voice that identifies as “Christian”.

“Can you help me?”

The border patrol took the boy to safety and I am thankful for that being done. A couple of

years ago he might have been marched back over the border to Mexico to sit…and sit…and sit…

Right now, he is in a temporary center that is terrifically overcrowded – children have to sleep

in shifts for lack of beds – and there he and thousands of other youths sit…and sit…and sit…

“Can you help me?”

All I can say to him is “We’re working on it”.

When I saw his face and heard his terrified words of plea, I heard Jesus in Matthew 19:14:

“suffer the children to come unto me and forbid them not; For of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

I live in a pretty good world around me. I have plenty to eat, a nice home, dry clothes, a warm bed and other creature comforts.

The times I have been hungry, wet, cold and even close to abandoned have been few.

As a child I was never lost for longer than an hour or so, but it seemed like eternity.

So even now, in the wonderful time of the Great 50 days of Easter, I am reminded that the rest of the world usually doesn’t see it quite as do I.

I am further reminded that the Gospel urges me to help. In whatever way that I can, I am urged to help.

Many times, I’ve said that we tend to discount the little things that we can do to help.

I would suggest that the opportunities are practically endless, as the need is always massive.

Hear the words of former President Jimmy Carter:

“My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can,

for as long as I can, with whatever I have, to try and make a difference.”

May we all search our hearts and find ways to let our prayers, our actions and yes, our

resources speak “Gospel talk” for our brothers and sisters of humanity that are asking,

“Can you help me?”.




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