Immigrants And Refugees

Building Affordable Housing — Your Lenten Reflection

Family Provided Affordable Housing at St. Augustine Terrace in the Bronx

Then a cloud came,
casting a shadow over them;
then from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”
Mark 9:7

On the second Sunday of Lent, we move from Jesus’ 40-day retreat in the desert to the mountains for his Transfiguration.

Jesus took three of his apostles — Peter, James, and John — to a mountain to pray. Here Jesus’ face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. Moses and Elijah of the Old Testament appeared and spoke with them. Then, from a cloud came God’s voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

The episode of the Transfiguration reminds us that Jesus is constantly revealing himself to us, in ways small and large.

Each time somebody shows care or concern for us is a moment when Jesus reaches out to us. Each time we reach out to help another person is a moment of transfiguration — both for those we help and for ourselves.

Especially during Lent, we work to support people who are overlooked and invisible — like our unhoused neighbors.

Catholic Charities New York and our agencies work together to provide a holistic continuum of services to help New York’s homeless population, with the goal of providing them with permanent housing. We are a pioneer and leader in building affordable housing.

“When you work hard, you really want home to be your safe environment, and being here, that’s exactly how I feel,” said Rebekah, a mother who resides at an affordable housing community in the Bronx developed by Catholic Charities of New York. The development provides 112 units of affordable housing for low-income families, like Rebekah and her daughter.

“Just knowing that when I am at work and my daughter comes home from school that she will have some type of security around her makes me feel 100% secure,” said Rebekah.

Housing is a basic human right. It’s about creating a place where families can grow and feel safe — where individuals can live in dignity.

During Lent, let us open our eyes and hearts to each other — especially the most vulnerable among us, like our unhoused neighbors. In doing so, we may see a glimpse of Jesus in all his glory, as during the Transfiguration.