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The Time to Help is Now

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In past times, if we wanted to avoid the reality of what was going on us in America, many of us could. We could change the channel, turn off the radio, or avoid the poorer neighborhoods. However, the need in America is so great now that almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by job loss, home foreclosure, disconnected utilities or food shortage.

According to a recent article in USA Today, 1 out of 8 Americans had to get assistance from food banks last year. In just three years, that number has increased 46%. People are having to choose between necessities. Should they heat their homes, or should they eat? Should they buy medicine, or should they pay their rent? These are questions that people shouldn’t have to debate.

You also might be surprised by the demographics of the people seeking assistance from soup kitchens and food banks. They are not all homeless, as one would suspect. Many of the people acquiring assistance have jobs and are already on government assistance such as food stamps. However, according to USA Today, the average monthly income of those seeking help at food banks is an average of $940 a month. Often times, governmental assistance is not enough.

St. Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 3-5,

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God
of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted
by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds
through Christ."

If we have been blessed with comfort, it is our spiritual responsibility to comfort others. Let us not show our love by word alone but by deed as well. Now is the time to reach out to those suffering around us. This love by deeds can be manifested in many ways: giving money, serving a meal, being a sturdy shoulder to cry on, or many other numerous actions. The point is to reach out to others and share the comfort God has given us. And the time to do that is now.

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