Matthew 25: 37 – 40
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Henri Nouwen once wrote “The mystery of God’s love is not that he takes our pains away, but that he wants to share them with us”.
Why would an omnipotent God who created all we can see and more be interested in frail creatures of dust like us? Why would he want to help carry our burden of pain for us?
St. Anselm described God as: that than which nothing greater can be conceived. Therefore it should not surprise us that his love too is so great we cannot comprehend it.
God does not require us to understand, only to acknowledge him as our God, Lord and Master. We do so with heart and soul and mind in thought and in deed.
Which is where helping those who need help comes in.
History abounds with stories of people helping the sick or the poor only to realize later that the one they were helping was God himself. Martin of Tours and Francis of Assisi to mention but two.
After her death the daughters of Elizabeth Fry, the prison reformer, spoke of how when on entering heaven their mother would want to fade away into the background and be taken aback to be called forward to take her place as a good and faithful servant. Fry they said did not consider her work on Earth to be all that exceptional, she did what she could because she could, that was all. To the prisoners she helped directly and those who benefited from more humane treatment because of her work, would I dare say beg to differ.
God shows his love in many ways and many forms. He often uses the most unlikely of people to achieve his aims, from a condemned man showing how to achieve salvation, to a corrupt tax collector showing how to spread the Gospel, to a soldier on a battlefield sheltering a dying enemy.
God’s love knows no bounds, we certainly have no right to try to contain it. Our only right is to practice it and to love others as we ourselves have been loved by God.
Do it and do it for Him, for as Theresa of Avilla wrote:
Christ has no body but yours,
No eyes, no hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Lord God our loving Father, thank you for sharing our burdens, thank you for lifting from us the weight of guilt that would grind us down. Thank you that you love us so much.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,