The book of Deuteronomy tells us that,
like our ancestors in faith,
must recognize that the power of God
has brought us to this land flowing with
milk and honey.
We are to say, “My father was a wandering Aramean”
traveled from place to place,
out of oppression into freedom and
living in peace.
the years of 1835 and 1837,
violent acts were perpetrated
against the Jews
of Marköbel, Germany.
George and Minnie, married there in 1833,
Marköbel in the midst of that violence.
With two-year-old Henry, their only
they traveled the 4,200 miles to America,
hoping for peace and
in a land flowing with milk and honey.
Henry married Anna
Elizabeth, daughter of British immigrants,
and they raised three sons in
Henry's son Conrad married Sarah,
also a child of
immigrants, hers from County Mayo in Ireland. They
traveled 25 miles
and settled in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio,
joined St. Mary's Catholic Church in Millersville,
east down the Greensburg
about a mile-and-a-half from their Home in Tinney.
They raised seven
of their nine children to adulthood,
sweating and scrabbling to make the
flow with milk and honey.
Their youngest surviving
son Cletus married Marie,
whose ancestors were Dutch and Danish and
Shawnee and British and French.
They found a small piece of land
between his native Tinney and her native Vickery,
productive soil that became
for them and their three children
flowing with milk and honey.
and their parents and their parents' parents,
as far back as I
were “wandering Arameans.”
I am blessed to live a long and
and settle into a place flowing with milk and honey—
with eggs and lettuce and tomatoes and beans—
and the loving embrace of
friends and family on the journey.
It's the history of the human
whether they're our ancestors by blood or by faith,
looking for security,
and the power to make a living
themselves and their children.
Arameans that Moses talked about
were an ancient people in Aram and
the land we now call Syria—about 3,000 years ago.
Too many of
today's Arameans are wandering the world right now,
hoping for a
flowing with milk and honey
instead of bombs and bullets.
million have left Syria in the last four years,
and another 2 million have
fled their homes inside the country.
Nine million men, women, and
running from violence and oppression—
that's equal to the whole
population of the state of Michigan.
Over 200,000 have died from the
That's like murdering seven out of every 10 Toledoans.
entire population of Akron.
city built by immigrants, has offered safe haven
to 54 of the 80 Syrian
refugees received in the State of Ohio
in the last four years.
Some of you
volunteer with our local organizations
to help refugees settle
UsTogether, Welcome TLC, and Water for Ishmael.
Some of you
volunteer in the many activities
of our Northwest Ohio MultiFaith
building peace among Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists,
every other religious group in our community.
And we write letters and sign
in support not only of Syrian refugees
but South American
and refugees and immigrants from every
It's not just
Too many people here in Toledo live in despair
of ever finding
anything but affliction, toil, and oppression.
We rank #1 in the nation
the increased concentration of poor people.
One out of seven in our town live
below the poverty level.
And poverty is much worse in other places around the
than it is here in Toledo.
Our homeless shelters are full again this
but we have shelters
and we have generous donors like you.
work for and with people in need here in Toledo.
You show your belief in
that there is no difference between Jew and Greek,
all are one in Christ.
Just this month you sent financial support to
to help the homeless,
St. Martin de Porres' Black History Month
and the Seagate Food Bank.
That's on top of the load of in-kind
you pack into my car every weekend
for Monday delivery to Claver
House and Rahab's Heart.
there's the environment.
Twenty percent of the world's population
resources at a rate
that robs poor nations and future generations
they need to survive.
That kind of excess and waste and abuse of the
break the fifth commandment:
Thou shalt not kill!
of you, by putting your time, talent, and/or treasure
into our Tree Toledo
are keeping that fifth
So we say, on this First
Sunday of Lent,
“My mother and my father were wandering Arameans.”
time to give thanks, like Moses says,
for the great gifts of God that we
It's time to help others get to this same place
because, as Paul
we are all one, all equal, all without distinction before
It's time, as Luke's Gospel tells us, to look to our brother
another wandering Aramean,
as he heads into the desert on a
It's time for us to walk with him into these quiet Lenten
searching and praying
to become even better
at following him on
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle,
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006