February 13, 2016
"If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land."
Today's first reading reminds me of my all time favorite quote from P.G.F. "All around the sick and all around the poor I see a special light which we do not have."
As Lent is already here, we become inspired to pray and to serve the less fortunate even more than in ordinary time, but we must be very careful in fulfilling this in the light of Mercy.
Pope Francis always reminds us the difference between "Community Service" and works of Mercy. This difference lies in the solemn divine presence of Christ who always seeks to exult the lowly and restore their dignity.
As my car broke down and I am forced to use public transportation to get to work, I give thanks to God because I am able to see our homeless brothers and sisters in Penn Station Newark. They are truly a gift because they represent Christ on the cross: broken, thirsty, collapsing.
However most of then don't know Jesus, and they feel abandoned.
Are they really abandoned? Have they been forgotten? Who would take care of their sorrows?
If we were given Jesus it was with the purpose to give him back to the world, just like our Lady did.
So If you have the chance to see a homeless person today, please remind him not only that God loves him, but also that God hasn't forgotten about him and has sent you to let him know of this.
We are a missionary Church, bearing a missionary heart, but this missionary heart needs to give its fruits, why keeping the fire to ourselves or wait for events or special holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving to act?
Brothers and sisters, we don't need to wait to go overseas to become missionaries, when around the corner lays Jesus on the cross waiting to be loved. A great example of this is PG Frassati who out of the spontaneity of his heart set the world in fire and is still doing it.
Brothers and sisters, my heart brakes when I see a person lying on the floor, because that is a masterpiece, a unique creation, my brother, a member of my heavenly family, a potential Saint that has lost his way. Let us remind them God hasn't forgotten then, say "Hello" "How are you" "God bless you" , smile, if it's safe feel free to engage in conversation with them, even if you have nothing to offer be there for them even for a minute.
I encourage you to look at the poor as if this was the very first thing you have ever seen in this world, aren't they beautiful? Isn't Christ beautiful? Share with them the mystery of suffering that has been entrusted to us through the crucifixion of Christ.
How beautiful is this cross! How amazing, and how great is the fact that we are so fortunate to carry it with Christ and assist him in his mission by loving the poor.
As tomorrow the world celebrates love in the most disturbing way ever, let us live LOVE in the most real way by serving the poor, with humility and in the silence of our action, with no social media coverage just to make sure the dignity of those we help is assured, and also assured will be our treasure in heaven.
Only this will truly set the difference between "community service" and our calling to do works of Mercy.
Only through Him, and for Him.
Pray for Us.