“Any simple act of love, done in obedience and humility, reaches all the way into eternity.” This profound word, spoken at a recent prayer meeting, shocks those embroiled in our toxic culture.
The world tells us we are to do big things. Be self-made people, strong individuals that impact the world.
Yet Jesus tells us we can impact the world by doing his Father’s will and coming into his family. “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mt 12:50)
We are God’s children, all part of the large and diverse family of God. He loves each of us unconditionally, always with our best interest in mind. He provides for us with an abundance to share with others. We have what one of our siblings in Christ needs and someone else in the family has what we need. All from God’s hand.
Help the needy
One of Pope Francis’ constant themes is to help the needy. The Vatican urges Catholics to donate to charity and volunteer to help the poor.
When it’s difficult to see Christ in the poor, Jesus tells us, “‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me,’” (Mt. 25:40).
Our Pope Francis brings this alive in every little way as he works into his schedule time to caress the disabled and wash the feet of the imprisoned. Without saying a word, he models how we personally encounter Christ in the poor, marginalized and vulnerable. And how these encounters are not interruptions, but responses to Christ.
With spiritual insight, we can see Christ in the poor and they can see Christ in us. Both the giver and the receiver can manifest the joy of living as children of God, the freedom that living in Christ brings.
What simple acts of love can you do today to respond to Christ in others and let them discover him in you?
(© 2013, revised 2017 Nancy H C Ward)