6 November 2017
God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice.
Just as you changed from being disobedient to God, and now enjoy mercy because of their disobedience, so those who are disobedient now – and only because of the mercy shown to you – will also enjoy mercy eventually. God has imprisoned all men in their own disobedience only to show mercy to all mankind.
How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom and knowledge – and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods! Who could ever know the mind of the Lord? Who could ever be his counsellor? Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything?
All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen.
Jesus said to his host, one of the leading Pharisees, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’
…blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous
Under my media relations portfolio at work, I get to advise which stories are newsworthy. The best stories get into all channels and, in deciding the newsworthiness of a story pertaining to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), one of the barometers is the amount raised through a particular initiative.
For one of the initiatives, I was convinced that a campaign was not big enough for the newsmakers. The person who ran this campaign is an ardent supporter of a particular home, and to my knowledge, she was fully committed towards helping this group of poor people; yet, her story was ‘small’. However, I trust that this colleague will receive her reward at the time of resurrection. It was a classic example of the unsung heroes who are faithful disciples and today’s gospel reassures of the greatest returns – righteousness. It is far better than any form of popularity or news coverage.
About a year ago, there was a trend in KL among youths to support a street-feeding initiative carried by well known soup kitchen. I had done it a few times myself with the youths in our parish, in preparation for World Youth Day. I always wondered about the commitment and intentions of people who participated in these efforts as I suspected that it seen more as a cool place to be noticed. And though we will never know the intentions of others, it was certainly not right of me to judge them.
My parents are also actively involved in our parish soup kitchen, which I am unfortunately not able join as it takes place during working hours. Sometimes, they are so busy and occupied, it took me a while to fully accept how necessary their ministry was in their role to feed the hungry.
A few weeks ago, I remembered an ex classmate, Amuthavalli. I got to find out then that she drank black coffee for lunch because they could not afford a meal. I spent sometime that year asking her (and another poor classmate Kunasuntari) about it because even as a child, I could not believe the extent of their poverty. Honestly in this day and age, it is more than just sad to see hunger among our own community as it should not be allowed.
We all know of an Amuthavalli, no matter how luxurious our lives are. She is the homeless person we choose to see, the migrant workers we encounter and the families who are struggling to make ends meet. Surely there is something we can do in addition to praying for the hungry. We can donate money, volunteer at a soup kitchen, run campaigns and spend our precious time with them. Let us ask for the grace and wisdom to know where and how Jesus is calling us to feed His own.
Personally I have never made a commitment towards feeding the poor. But when I see food leftovers and, if the host allows it, I bring home a few packs with me to distribute to the guards at my condo or the cleaners at my office. One day, I saw an elderly man rummaging through the trash can at my neighbours, and though it broke my heart, I was hesitant to approach him. So I did the only thing that I know which always works, I prayed and drove next to him so that I could pass him some money. Recently, I have been been prompted to bring a meal to the construction workers near my office. I ask that you pray for my willingness to do so very soon, and also to be committed towards the eradication of hunger and poverty.
Let us also remember to serve those who are poor in spirit – Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.
(Today’s Oxygen by Josephine Dionisappu)
Prayer: We pray for all those unsung heroes among us who work in service of the poor. Help us Lord to act immediately to serve those who are poor, materially and spiritual. Lord, please feed the hungry through each of us.
Thanksgiving: Father in Heaven, thank you for generous acts as there are no acts of mercy which are too small in your eyes.