Today, December 20, 2019 is the shortest day of the year. It is also the longest night of the year. For most of us, we will go about our daily business and we won’t notice the shorter day except that when we drive home at the end of the day, it will be darker sooner. For the homeless among us, it is also the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. For the homeless, every night is the longest night of the year. Every night is cold, dark and difficult.
The 16th annual vigil of remembrance service was held today in front of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Erie, PA near the statue of the homeless Jesus. Dr. Grace Kennedy of the Community of Caring coordinated the vigil. Representatives from local agencies who serve the homeless attended to remember the homeless among us and remember those who were homeless and died during the past year while homeless.
Lawrence (Lee) Wassil who died on February 2, 2019. He was 65 years old.
Stephen J. Bodnar who died February 2019 at the age of 53.
Michael M. Herman who died on July 30, 2019. He was 31 years old.
Michael Kerr who died on August 16, 2019 at the age of 62 years old.
Today, let us see the face of Jesus in the eyes of every homeless person we encounter. As we settle into our homes, safe from the elements, let us take a moment and pray for the safety of those who have no place to lay their head and ask God to bless them with protection from the elements, bless them with food and clothing and bless them with peace of mind.