Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.”

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” – Mother Teresa

(Gospel Text: Mt 9:32-38)
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said,
"He drives out demons by the prince of demons."

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."

Where can I act?  Who can I heal? 

We don’t have it in our power to heal as Jesus did, to perform miracles and to make people whole physically.  But we do have the power to have a healing effect on those we encounter in our daily lives.  And I think this impact starts with little healings, and then becomes magnified as more of us heal each other.  If I hold a door and greet someone with a smile, am I not healing in some small way the hurt of being ignored?  If I good-naturedly allow a car to merge in front of me in traffic, am I not healing some of the frustration we all sense in living in a congested world?  If I treat a cashier or store clerk with respect and dignity, am I not healing some of their pain caused by dealing with rude and insensitive people?  And if I do these small things to heal the people I encounter, aren’t I healing myself as I do so?

Isn’t all this just good manners?  Well, yes.  But in order to see God in each person we encounter, don’t we have to start with seeing them?  And how can we see them if we don’t even take the time to engage them in simple pleasantries, in acts of good manners and respect? 

To truly reverence the Eucharist, we must first be able to reverence our own selves and each person we encounter.  How can we reverence someone if we aren’t aware of them, if we aren’t present to them in the simple act of opening a door or allowing them safe passage in traffic? 

Do you have the heart of the Good Shepherd for the sheep? Will you feed His sheep? Do you love Him? Then feed His sheep (Jn 21:17).

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