Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,
Many blessings to you and your families this Thanksgiving!
Bishop Boyea has been continuing his Disciples on the Way series. (It is really excellent.) If you are not signed up already you can do so here: https://dioceseoflansing.flocknote.com/FridayMemo). Currently he is speaking of the corporal works of mercy with a weekly challenge. A recent challenge was to take time to visit the sick, the elderly, or the homebound. It is especially timely as the season changes and we draw near to the holidays. For those who are sick, stuck at home, and/or mourning the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of the year. Our visits, prayers, and phone calls are so important. I wanted to share Bishop’s challenge and encourage us in this season to reach out to those who need us the most.
“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.”