Love and Serve
“When I am bombarded on the evening news with earthquake, flood and fire, it is too much for me. But neither was Jesus adequate to the situation. He did not fee all the poor, only a few. he did not heal all the lepers, or give sight to all the blind, or drive out all the unclean spirits. Satan wanted him to, but he didn’t. That helps me. If I felt that I had to conquer all the ills of the world I’d likely sit back and do nothing at all. But if my job is to feed one stranger, then the money I give to world relief will e dug down deeper from my pocket than it would if I felt I had to succeed in feeding the entire world.” (Note 1)
For some reason, I am having trouble writing today, so this is going to be stream of thought, almost like a journal entry.
Bossuet’s meditations were not very inspiring today, but the one from Renewing Our Discipleship was, and I quoted it in it’s entirety.
We all want to change the world, we all want to be the next great person who founds a larger and more powerful organization for helping the poor. Whatever we do, we want it to be big, we want to put our name on it and say to the world, “look what I did!” And then blow our trumpet and receive our reward in this temporal realm. For the rest of us, we just want to help, but we become so overwhelmed because it seems there is so little we can do to help that we do nothing. But nothing doesn’t help. Doing something, no matter how small, is doing something. It reminds me of the quote from “The Lord of the Rings” when Galadriel says, “even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” We just have to want to do something and then — do something! Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, “there are many people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things.” (Note 2) And how right she is. I myself have trouble doing the small things, and I think Lent is supposed to help remind us of our duty to help our fellow man wherever we can. The rice bowl offering, giving up something (coincidentally that thing you give up, you’re supposed to take the money/time spent on it and donate it to the poor); almsgiving, fasting and prayer. They all tie together. We just have to remember that and then do our part. And then, when Lent is over, we remember that we still have to do our part. It’s a never ending cycle, because life is a never ending cycle (aeveternity), and we have to continue on, helping others as much as we can and caring for them. Start small, start at home, and then work towards helping others.
God is love and we reflect his love when we care for our fellow man. “Love one another as I have loved you,” Christ said (Jn 13:34). And he loved us so much that he died for us.
1. Madeleine L’Engle, “Salvation — One Person at a Time”. In Renewing Our Discipleship, Daily Reflections on the 2017 Lenten Readings for Mass, ed. Steve Mueller (St Louis, MO: All Saints Press, 2017), 23.
2. Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World (New York: MJF Books, 1997), 43.