Looking at the Poor with New Eyes
If there were no hungry, no thirsty, no sick, no one needing clothes, food, drink, visits, shelter and caring in the world, what would Jesus say to each of us upon meeting Him on our particular judgment day?
Would He still be able to say: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . " (Mt. 25:34-36) ?
But the fact is those who are poor and needy are many and are present among us, and we have the opportunity to do good for them. We know that such acts of charity and compassion would be something pleasing to the Lord. It is therefore we who should thank them. It is we who should be grateful to them.
For Christ is in the poor and when we do things for them, we are doing it for Christ Himself. “For whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt. 25-40)
Since Christ is in them, and Christ is Lord, we can say that the poor and the needy are our lords. St. Vincent de Paul and the Order of Malta even go farther: They are not only our lords; they are also our masters.
Serving the poor and the needy is serving Christ Himself. The next time we give something to the poor, I think our mindset should not be that we alone are doing them a favor. It is also they who are doing us a favor. What we need to do is to thank them because by being who they are, they are allowing us to be holy, to be closer to Jesus our Lord, who is pleased with what we do for the least of His brethren.
We can give only so much. But God loves us infinitely more that He gave His Only Begotten Son and eternal life.
Our Lord Jesus tells us: “The poor you will always have with you.” We can not run out of people to help.
We can therefore be sure that if we do our utmost for the poor and needy, we will hear at our Judgment Jesus’ words: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Mt 25:34)
For this, we also have our poor and needy brothers and sisters to thank. #