Monday, February 18, 2013

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?” (Matthew 25: 37)

Matthew 25 is the name of an evangelical community very near my house. The Pastor there gives hospitality in the condominium of his property adjacent to the prayer room. There are displaced families, both Italian and foreigners who are waiting for better times. They live there together, some for weeks or months, some even for years. Each family has its own room and share lavatories and food with each other. The life of this strange community is very poor and sometimes functions in a way open to criticism. However, it allows everyone to ‘have a life’ today and perhaps even tomorrow, in abundance!

This is a particular incarnation of today’s Gospel. It is a provocation for our hypocrisy, a push to start to become aware of the needs of others, a call to intervene, even though we cannot do everything well, but giving that minimum to restore a person’s dignity. How often do we think of holiness as an abstract divinization? This Gospel communicates the amazement of the people of the parable who are thanked by God for things they were not aware they were doing. By serving others, they were serving the image of God impressed on every creature and they had recognized this and loved them. This is holiness.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will consider how I am reaching out to others in need and if I truly see Jesus in my sisters and brothers, especially the poor.

Lord, I do not want to pass by anyone with indifference. Help me to be aware of the desire for life in the persons around me. Help me to be at their service, helping them to have a full and abundant life.

The Voice of Fr. Tonino Bello, his Biography by Claudio Ragaini

I do not resolve the problem of the broken by giving them hospitality in the Bishop’s house as I have done. It is not up to me to do it. This is for the institutions. But I have given a sign of sharing to the people that they must find new ways…in have insinuated a scruple, like a little pebble in the shoe.

- Living Scripture