Harbor The Homeless

Week 3 | Corporal Work of Mercy

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)


By Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Rarely and with few exceptions are we able to actually open the doors of our own homes and bring in the homeless. But we are able to see to it that they do have a “home.” We can also see to it that they receive many of the human amenities that we associate with our own homes.

In The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare writes, “The quality of mercy is not strain’d . . . is twice bless’d: it blesseth him who gives and him that takes.” How true it is! While we cannot always be present to meet every need of every homeless person or see that at any given moment they find room and board—a roof and meals—we can be a blessing to them and meet our own obligations toward them. While personally I cannot always be there, our institutions, our homes, our shelters, and Catholic Charities are all present all the time.

As Shakespeare pointed out, mercy is a two-way street. It is not something we do to others; it is a way in which we share together with others the human condition so that words such as brother and sister are not simply a manner of speaking but a manner of living.

Excerpt taken from Chapter 1 of Beautiful Mercy. Get your free copy of the book (just pay shipping).


Home. It plays an important part in our lives. Have you ever wondered where you were going to sleep at night? There are nearly 100 million people in the world who have to ask that question every day.


Get involved this week. For example, you could reach out to a homeless shelter, or find an organization that builds or repairs homes.


Lord, you are preparing a place for all your children in heaven. Help me to give someone a place here on earth to make them feel loved and valued.


How can you make generosity personal?