Thought for the week

                                             The Broken Bodies of the Poor

I saw him in the distance as I was hurrying by the G.P.O. He was immediately recognisable from newspapers and television, but that bitterly cold morning on the threshold of Christmas he looked a bit forlorn and alone with his plastic bucket. With cheeks rosy from the bitter wind that blew in from Henry Street, he looked of little consequence: for all the world, like the cartoon figure of the friar in The Capuchin Annual of long ago.

But there’s nothing weak or insignificant about Brother Kevin Crowley. And when you see him close up, you recognise a determination in those watchful eyes that, thank God, have been at the service of, what Malcolm Muggeridge once called, ‘the broken bodies of the poor’. He smiles easily and the little round face and voice is essentially west Cork.

From working for CIE (now Iarnrod Eireann) he ‘took the road less travelled’ and that indeed has made all the difference. Today at the Capuchin Day Care Centre in Arran Quay, he and his volunteers provide 1,700 parcels a week and 900 hot meals daily. How many who sleep on cardboard would be dead now if it hadn’t been for him?

This Sunday, when we turn out thoughts to the work of the missions, I am reminded of that brief encounter alongside the G.P.O. At home or abroad, the mission of Jesus Christ remains the same: ‘Whatever you do for the least of these my brothers and sisters, you do for me.’ Matthew 25:40                                                                                                                          Fr William