Progress and Praises

Progress and Praises

Well, I wish I could share that we had our referral, but not yet.  But, the good news is that the IEBSR began issuing them this week!  Two families from America World received their referrals and will be traveling to Haiti to meet their children in two weeks!  One dear woman has never had any children and has been waiting a long time for this.  She is so excited and we rejoice with her.

Our orphanage has indicated that they expect referrals for their children to be coming at the end of September through Mid-October.  The praise is that the boys do now know they are being adopted!  They do not know yet who.

Another  praise in the area of finances.  I figured our money and due to a couple of increased fees and needing some of our personal money for other things we were about $1000 short.  I prayed asking the Lord to provide for this need, though I must say my faith was probably smaller than a mustard seed.  I didn’t know how the Lord would do this since our fundraising campaigns were through.  I had on my  to do list to apply for another 0% interest credit card.  I checked our Lifesong account to make sure that all the donations were in now and there was a donation from someone for $1000!  I was floored!  Then when Ron brought in the mail he handed me another check for $1000!(  Thank you to these two people, although I don’t think they follow this blog.)  I guess the Lord wanted to assure me that He has this adoption in the palm of His hands.

It seems each time my faith is weak in some way He sends strength, or a prayer, or a note of encouragement from somewhere.  One dear friend, to remain nameless, sent me a very special statue.  This statue represents Mary and the anawim.  Each time I look at the statue, I am reminded to give it all to the Lord. The following are some excerpts from the amazing article she gave me, hope it blesses you as much as it did me.  Thank you , friend.

The Anawim: who are they?

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J. *

Some years ago, the award-winning comic strip by Johnny Hart featured a piece about the mystery of the Incarnation, though it did not mention the phrase.

The cartoon was a whimsical commentary on modern man and woman. It is relevant today because the public commemoration of Christmas is challenged everywhere. It is after all, a legal holiday. The country has no problem honoring American presidents or Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, protesters complain that their sensibilities are offended by honoring Jesus Christ, if not as God, then certainly as the greatest of all anawim:

It seems to me that since the Fall–
without even thinking it odd
that man had no trouble at all believing that he can be God.
How he would do this I cannot conceive …
tho, he certainly thinks he can–
and yet, he cannot bring himself to believe that God can become … a Man.

Who were the anawim?

Mary and Joseph of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi

The anawim of the Old Testament were the poor of every sort: the vulnerable, the marginalized, and socio-economically oppressed, those of lowly status without earthly power. In fact, they depended totally on God for whatever they owned. The Hebrew word anawim (inwetan) means those who are bowed down.

Mahatma Gandhi understood inwetan as the way of bhakti, that is, loving devotion and surrender to God. In times of suffering, the anawim remained faithful and awaited the good things of the Lord to fill their emptiness, as the Lucan gospel tells us in (Lk 1:53). They delighted in the Lord because they were rooted in him.

Mary of Nazareth belonged to the anawim. Her life of fidelity had singled her out for a special role in God’s salvific plan. She was already betrothed to Joseph, and when God’s plan was put to her, quite naturally, she asked how it would happen. Mary’s free acceptance allowed the Spirit to work in her. In proclaiming her Magnificat, she acknowledged that the Almighty has done great things for her in her lowliness in contrast to God’s dealings with the proud (Lk 1:47).

Mary shines among the anawim about whom Jesus later speaks in the Sermon on the Mount. She is the first model of discipleship in the New Testament.

Like Mary, Joseph of Nazareth also belonged to the anawim.  In a dream, he experienced his own annunciation in which he responded to God’s mandate and assumed his role in salvation-history (Mt1:18-25).  Joseph was deeply troubled that Mary’s child was not his.  He had no foreknowledge of Mary’s Annunciation, no foreknowledge of Mary’s divine pregnancy. He had to be told. Like Joseph of the Old Testament, through a dream, he was asked to entrust his future entirely to God. He understood that by divine choice, he would be the child’s earthly father, assuming responsibility both for legitimizing the child and for naming him. Like Mary, Joseph trusted in God’s providential care.

Jesus, God’s Anaw

In his epistle to the Philippians 2:6-7), St. Paul tells us that Jesus emptied himself taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. The phrase, “he emptied himself” refers in the first place to the Incarnation. Jesus’ kenosis means that he who emptied himself freely chose to deprive himself of something he already possessed. A person who makes himself empty gives up his wealth and becomes poor. St. Francis of Assisi is one famous example of this. Jesus did this so that by his poverty, “(we) might become rich” (2 Cor 8:1-9). He entered into the condition of the powerless anawim, but he did not de-divinize himself of his Godhead. He made himself at one with the poor by becoming absolutely poor.

Jesus emptied himself as love (agape) in order to redeem humanity through kenosis. Agape  led to kenosis, and kenosis, to glory. Love was the only reason for his incarnation, his passion, death, and resurrection.

As model parents, Mary and Joseph raised Jesus in the spirit of the anawim.

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