February 3, 2023
Today is the third of our daily reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to offer you these reflections for each day of Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7, 2023. World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February. The General Assembly of the United Nations designated this week to point out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace. Therefore, the General Assembly established World Interfaith Harmony Week to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
Our reflections this year come from the diverse people we have met on the streets. The houseless community is a vital part of the Interfaith Community. Over the years, we have learned the wisdom of simplicity from our friends in the streets. We are pleased to share their wisdom, courage, and creativity with you. The names and locations of the various individuals have been changed for their safety and anonymity. The people involved in these reflections asked for nothing but the opportunity to be heard, and we are grateful for their sharing.
INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK
THE WISDOM OF THE STREETS
THE SPLENDOR OF GENEROSITY
by Thomas P Bonacci, C.P.
Mark lives in the shelter provided for those without a place to live. But, as the story goes, Mark was blessed with a small bag of potato chips at lunch one day. You would have thought Mark won the lottery. He looked at the bag of potato chips as if it were the most precious thing in the World.
Bolting out the door, Mark began yelling, “Beverly! Beverly!” as loudly as he could. People on the street were startled, but Mark was relentless in his pursuit. He ran right into me, asking if I had seen his Beverly. As the drama unfolded, a lovely lady began to yell, “Mark!” They ran into the arms of one another. They embraced and rejoiced. I almost burst into song. He wanted to give her the bag of potato chips because he knew she liked them.
Imagine he who has nowhere to live gives away what he believes will bless another.
Who is wise? One who learns from everyone … Who is strong? One who overpowers their inclinations… Who is rich? One who is satisfied with their lot in life … Who is honorable? One who honors their fellows.
Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1
There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.
Today I will visit the Sanctuary of my Heart.
I will go there with reverence and respect.
I will claim the gut-feelings of my wisdom.
The gift of my Heart longs to give of itself.
I pledge not to be an obstacle to myself.
Like water poured out, I will give of myself.