what work of mercy will be your pet project today?
Last week I was asked to partake in a prayer service at a local assisted living facility. As I gazed at the eyes upon me, I noticed a room full of people with canes,with walkers, all gathered to hear what I had to say.
I felt so small and insignificant at that time! I thought of what it must have been like during Jesus' time as well, of those who assembled to listen to what He had to say. How would it affect them? More important, did they take His message and then apply it to their own lives?
I was thinking then about the works of mercy, both spiritual as well as corporal. Being Catholic, we had those drilled into us as a part of our Catechism, however, it can apply to all of us.
What are the works of mercy, you ask? They are: feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting those imprisoned, burying the dead and caring for creation. Those are the corporal works. Then there are: instructing the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, bearing patiently those who wrong us, forgive offenses, comfort the afflicted, pray for the living and the dead and to contemplate God's creation. (this is what I do at 3 a.m. when I cannot fall back to sleep!)
Whew, quite the list, eh?
Look it over. This is where I wish we did not have the division in "religion," for we are all God's children. One cannot look this over and claim that because they are Methodist or Lutheran, that it doesn't apply to them, as it is a "Catholic" rule. Really though? Feeding the hungry? Forgiving others? That goes across the spectrum and I truly believe that if we had more of that, there would be less hurt and hate in our world. Our WORLD! From a distance, our world is a beautiful place, but up close, we do have our work cut out for us!
Lately, there has been so much division, all due to political beliefs. There again, we go back to what Jesus instructed, of how He is NOT of this world. I take refuge in that. "Thy Kingdom come," THY Kingdom, not some political leader who, at this point, is in it for the power and control and NOT because they truly want to see peace in their land. God's Kingdom, the God who loves us unconditionally, who is ever present, the Alpha and the Omega. "I am the Way...and the Truth...and the Life."
Today (and everyday) take one work of mercy and try it out! Even if it is just to offer a prayer for another, you have done something wondrous! You have chosen to take that step to make your corner of the world beautiful. To offer forgiveness, to comfort those who need comfort. To visit someone who literally is "imprisoned" in a nursing home due to the physical limitations that they have...the list grows, it is endless! You won't be bored, this I assure you, if you just pick one particular mercy and follow through with it daily. And if all of us would do that? Every corner would truly be a wonderful place indeed!