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A country’s greatness determined by how it treats its poorest citizens

Recently a lifesize sculpture of Jesus depicted as a homeless person lying down on a bench, has been placed at the entrance of the Office of Papal Charities at the Vatican.

It was created by Canadian sculptor Timothy P Schmalz. Jesus is depicted as lying down on a bench, his body almost entirely covered by a thin blanket. You cannot see the face, just the feet poking out and these bear the unequivocal signs of the crucifixion. Jesus was homeless and if research proves reliable many Irish people are one pay cheque from experiencing homelessness as well.

Without family, friends, or supportive services from caring organisations many more than the current thousands would also experience homelessness in Ireland. I have believed for many years that a country’s greatness is determined by how it treats its poorest citizens. The numbers of homeless people in Ireland are daunting, and they are constantly rising and I think we must do our upmost and more to remedy this dreadful situation. We must hold our public politicians, officials, and those in power accountable and ensure they and us create more housing for our homeless and poor.

We need to look at how we can physically help the homeless or homeless charities and also say a prayer today for all women, men and especially for children who are homeless in our beautiful country of Ireland. Help us to see our own face in the eyes of every homeless person we meet so that we may be empowered through word and deed, and through the political means we have, to bring justice and peace to those who are homeless.

Bless the homeless, this day and everyday, keep them from physical and emotional harm, fill their hearts with hope for the future and for today, comfort the homeless as they walk their difficult paths. Bless the homeless with enough food to sustain them, with enough warmth to shield them from the elements, with the power to wrestle personal demons and win, with the will to go on, and build their lives again.

May hope touch each homeless heart, spirit and life, let the kindness of others bring lasting benefits, bring freedom from addiction, illness and misery, open their humanity to include and embrace themselves.

Bless the homeless with self acceptance and love, spark their imaginations with belief in the future, bringing the possibility of a better life, a safer life and a more secure life for all.

Ronan Scully

46 The Rise




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