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Give, for your sake

September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013, Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Haggai. One moment yet and I will fill this house with glory.
Luke 9:18-22. You are the Christ of God. The Son of Man must suffer greatly.

Gospel Reflection:

Praise be to Jesus Christ! For evermore!

Do not bring your gift to the altar, if you have brushed past the outstretched hand of Christ in the market.

Saint John Chrysostom once said, “Do not bring your gift to the altar, if you have brushed past the outstretched hand of Christ in the market.” It is pretty profound statement, that – probably makes Father a little nervous at collection time – but it really calls us out: If we are to be little Christs in the world, what does that mean? On Monday I asked the question, ‘How would Christ love them – the poor and disadvantaged, the sinner? How would Christ show mercy to the thief and the incarcerated? Would he exclude any from his love?’ The answer – the challenge – has to be a resounding No. This whole week in Scripture really asks the question: who is Jesus? Today we hear the answer.

I used to get in discussion with my best friend. What are we called to do? We are called to support the mission of the church, the parish, yes. But we are also called to do much more. We are called to obey Matthew Chapter 25, ‘to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, greet the stranger, cloth the naked, care for the ill, visit the imprisoned.’ We are called to love as Christ loves, and show mercy as Christ shows. If we all did this, you, me, all of Christendom – we would change the world. We do not answer this call the best we could, though. Oh, there are many who do a great job. But overall, we still come up a little short.

If we could all confess as Peter did in today’s Gospel, we might be inspired. But would we recognize the outstretched hand of Christ? St Vincent de Paul did, and even today, by his inspiration, many continue in promoting works of mercy, especially here at St. Henry.

Born in 1581, he was a priest who dedicated himself to ministering to the poor, unfortunate and suffering, and he worked toward bettering the formation of priests. His teaching was pretty straight-forward: “It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such services as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor… One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out… Charity is greater than any rule.” Saint Vincent certainly gives us the marching orders of our life; easy to say, hard to do. But worthwhile of effort.

Our Society of Saint Vincent de Paul certainly follows these instructions well. They serve many needy families in the Gresham area, and, hopefully, with your support, will be able to for years to come.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. CLTarpley permalink
    September 29, 2013 2:19 am

    This I believe is what it is all about.

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