Homeless Persons’ Memorial
December 21st…The first day of winter…The longest night of the year.
The Ignatian Spirituality Project and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless hosted a memorial service to remember those who have died on the street homeless and alone this year. Thousands of people held memorial services across the country and joined in prayerful remembrance.
In a packed Church, strangers sang, worshiped and prayed together. Over 40 names were solemnly read. Some were just a name, others included a date or age. Some had more information: “Jacob, who passed out brochures on Wabash; Patrice, from Millennium Park”. And still others were listed as “Unknown Person”.
Last night as we read the Christmas Story from Luke, I recalled that Mary and Joseph were also without a home when they welcomed Jesus into the world. Did they share the same fears of many of our guests? Do people who are homeless in our city feel like there is ‘no place for them at the inn?’ Where would Mary deliver Jesus today? When do we “say” ‘there’s no room for you here’?
Let us continue the prayer we shared last night as we remember this holy time of year: