Go to the Margins of Society

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 13 November 2014)

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God

My best friend Kelly is an emergency room nurse in a major Boston hospital. One day, the ER was particularly busy.


 As she scanned the waiting room for the next person she would help, she saw a man sitting among the rest of the patients that caught her eye.  He was covered in dirt and grime.  Kelly watched people recoil as they walked by him and saw tears in his eyes.  She looked at all the other people who had broken arms, sore throats, and other issues, and went over to him.  She escorted him into a room and asked him what she could do to help him.

He was embarrassed to be in the condition he was in and told her that he thought he might have a fever.  She took his temperature and it was slightly elevated.  She ordered him a shot of penicillin and began to address his real issues. She began cleaning him up, helping him out of his filthy clothes and into a shower.  She found clothes for him in the lost and found.  She grabbed 2 meals for him, one for him to eat while she was waiting for his medicine and one for the road.  As he left the emergency room, he thanked her for everything and walked out into the Boston streets.

Health Overhaul Hospital Bailouts

At the end of Kelly’s shift, she was called into the nurse manager’s office and presented with a disciplinary write-up for spending too much time with one patient and not helping her fellow nurses with the busy waiting room.  She was outraged, as was I, when she relayed the story to me.  It was only a half hour out of her day, but it made all the difference to that man.

This past Friday, I was reminded of this story when Brother Fred used a meditation from our Founder to honor the Spanish Martyrs of the Brothers of the Christian Schools with a prayer group I am a part of.

Spanish Martyrs resized

The 9th Meditation states, “Look upon yourselves as ministers of God, carrying out your ministry with love and a sincere and true zeal, accepting with much patience the difficulties you have to suffer, willing to be despised by men and to be persecuted, even to give your life for Jesus in the fulfillment of your ministry.”


For our Founder, for Jesus, and lately for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in order to live an authentically Christian life, we have to be willing to risk our reputations, to go to the margins of society and to act as the good shepherd, bringing the lost sheep back to the flock.

Good Shepherd--1 sheep

It’s easy to love our friends and our nice neighbors, but are we welcoming to the dirty, disagreeable, angry, hurt, and difficult people among us?  As we turn our eyes toward the Advent season and prepare for the birth of Jesus, can we have the faith of the Magi to put the poor first?

Let us pray:

Lord, help us to look beneath the rags of those we encounter in our daily lives.  Help us to see your son and our brother, Jesus in them.


St. John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Our Lady Queen of Peace…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Margaret Naughton—Campus Ministry