It’s been a busy few weeks at Joseph’s House with many Baby Bottle drives last weekend in celebration of Mother’s Day and Good Shepherd’s Sunday.
What a beautiful combination of blessed days they were. Mother’s Day and Good Shepherd’s Sunday. To many, their moms are their best friends, their biggest influence, their loving guides and guiding stars. Mom’s are the first loves of their adoring children and the best shepherds in their lives. Our Lord most certainly sent us our mothers as a symbol of His love for us and many do a superb job shepherding their children according to God’s plan.
This is exactly what happens at Joseph’s House as well. We are shepherds to Our Lord’s lost sheep. To His precious, vulnerable children who may not have mothers or fathers to lead them. Our Lord leads us and we lead all the children He sends our way and In that way we emulate the love of God each day and are symbols of love to others.
Manifestations of God’s love have been made apparent throughout the readings this week in the Gospels of St. John. In the words of Christ and in the actions of Christ we witness examples of how we are to love others.. From His declaration in last Sunday’s Gospel “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish”, to this week’s gospel command to love one another. “As I have loved you, so you should also love one another. This is how all will know you are my disciples.” The readings are overflowing with the profession of the love of Our Father in Heaven for each and everyone of us.
Manifestations of love have also been apparent everyday this past week in our home and with our staff. Little notes of thanks appearing in inboxes on Mother’s Day from moms successfully living on their own began the downpour of grace. The sighting of an Exodus mom in the mall where she ran to me when she saw me from across the way. A Mother’s Day luncheon donated by our friend Marie Cullen for all the moms in our home and the volunteers who cared for the little ones giving up their Saturday morning so our moms could have “adult time” with one another. Love has been made apparent through the generosity and donations of nurses from Crouse Hospital, the large turnout and unending support of our prayer group and in our most recent mass celebration, and will be made apparent again today as students from Cazenovia High School sacrifice their Sunday afternoon in service to our mission. Each and every day at Joseph’s House prayers are answered; new relationships are built and Our Lord opens unforeseen doors of opportunity to us as we work to show Him, we love Him and His children above all things.
We are blessed at Joseph’s House to see the presence of God and His love in all we are called to do for our moms and children. It has been undeniably perceptible since Easter, through Mother’s Day and through this weekend. What is especially uplifting to all who serve this mission and are overworked, underpaid and exhausted most of the time, is we are allowed to catch glimpses of God’s love reflected back to us from young women who never knew Him until they encountered Joseph’s House.
We observed this phenomenon on Friday as a young mom who is leaving us too soon with a newborn, hugged all the other moms and staff with tears in her eyes and let us know she still wants to be a part of our family. She will come back to visit often and wants to be included in our Exodus program. This is a young woman with much trauma in her past who is articulate, feisty and a survivor. She is willing to work hard for herself and her little one and believes she will be able to take on all the challenges before her. She has support from her mom making the transition a bit easier and the fact that her mom embraces us as well as her daughter, is another manifestation of God’s love and appreciation for the work of Joseph’s House.
These encounters with young moms with little or no belief in the existence of God make us understand more clearly how seeds of a future relationship with Him are planted in the hearts and souls of all who come to call Joseph’s House home. This young mom in just two months’ time, has begun to participate in the Alpha program. At first, she was complacent and seemed prejudiced in her attitude towards any godly discussions, but through the leadership of our HM Karen and the compassion and assistance of our CM Rebecca, much has changed in the heart and soul of this young lady.
Stories like this make all realize we are able to do this inspired work because we are a mission founded to be the hands and feet of Christ for others. To be the soft shoulder of compassion and understanding when needed while instilling the positive effects of a firm, structured environment. To always be the calm in the storm of turbulence that is the life of all the young women we serve. To always be an expression of Christ’s love to everyone who comes to us leading them to a better future through God’s omnipotent direction. That is the manifestation of the love of Jesus Christ through His ministry of Joseph’s House and by His Grace we will continue to serve many lost sheep with unending love for years to come.
God Bless you my friends.
Love & Prayers,