I have a book called For All the Saints. In it, you can look up different days and see if a particular Saint is remembered on that day. I looked up November 16 and it is Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Helper of the Poor.
Margaret was an Anglo-Saxon princess who became the consort of King Malcolm III of Scotland in 1069. She is chiefly remembered for her efforts on behalf of Scotland’s poor. Margaret not only shared large sums of money with the poor but ensured that institutions that were already in place provided relief for the homeless, the hungry and the orphaned. She also purchased the freedom of Anglo-Saxons who had been sold into slavery by Norman conquerors. In Matthew 25: 34-40 we read these words:
34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Margaret understood the call to help those in need. How do we respond to the needs of the less fortunate among us? “Not in my backyard” is a phrase I hear – “of course we need to help the homeless, but do it somewhere where I don’t need to see it or know about it”. I do not believe this is the attitude Jesus wants us to have. Take a minute and read the letter from all the Anglican Churches in Whitby (All Saints’, St. John’s, Port Whitby and St. Thomas, Brooklin) to the citizens of Whitby to answer their concerns over 1635 Dundas St. and offer support.
(Click here to read Anglican Church Letter of Support for 1635 Dundas St. You can also find it posted in the parish hall.) The letter answers these concerns residents but also points out that a safe home provides a sense of security. Without this sense of security, it is hard to realize that there is hope for a future! May we all be compassionate and truly display the love of Jesus to all we come in contact with this day and always. Prayer: God our Redeemer, you restore the dignity of creation with a new and glorious liberty. Grant us so to follow the example of your servant Margaret, that we may discern your Son in all whom we meet. We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Pg. 347 – For All the Saints)