My sisters and brothers in the Lord,
Welcome to this week’s Disciples Together on the Way Challenge. This week we continue with the theme of the Corporal Works of Mercy.
Each of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy are rooted in the teachings of Christ – they give us a model on how to treat one another – to see and to serve Christ in those we encounter. “‘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.’ ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Mt 25: 36-40)
It is through the charitable actions of the Corporal Works of Mercy that we aid our neighbors (CCC 2447) with their material and physical needs. Through our merciful actions, we have compassion for our neighbor and assist to alleviate their temporal hardship.
By intentionally making time and seeking opportunities to attend to the corporal needs of our sisters and brothers we imitate Christ and open ourselves to graces which our Lord is waiting to give us. We move outside of our own needs and grow in mercy and compassion – continuing down the path of holiness and discipleship to which each one of us is called.
So, my challenge for you this week is to visit the sick, the elderly or the homebound.
But, before you take this valuable action spend some time in prayer – pray for the individual or individuals you are going to visit. Pray for their needs and ask God to grant them some relief if that be His will. Lastly, ask God to give you the grace to see His face in the people you visit. Let your ears, your mouth and your hands be Christ to them and pray that you see the face of our Lord in them as well.
I’ll be back with another challenge next week. Until then, may God bless you with His grace throughout this coming week, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing